Review: ‘His Majesty O’Keefe’

This swashbuckling South Seas adventure feature is ideally suited to Burt Lancaster's muscular heroics. The Fiji Islands location lensing is a plus factor for interest.

This swashbuckling South Seas adventure feature is ideally suited to Burt Lancaster’s muscular heroics. The Fiji Islands location lensing is a plus factor for interest.

The island of Viti Levu in the South Pacific is the locale used. Lancaster is seen as a daredevil Yankee sea captain, cast overboard off the island by a mutinous crew. Intrigued by the possibilities of making a fortune off the island’s copra, he stays on to battle other traders, native idleness and superstition, becoming His Majesty O’Keefe with a beautiful Polynesian (Joan Rice) as queen.

The action emphasis of the screenplay, suggested by a novel by Lawrence Kingman and Gerald Green, provides Byron Haskin’s direction innumerable opportunities for movement, so the film’s pace is quick-tempoed. Rice is a sweet romantic foil for Lancaster’s swashbuckling. Tessa Prendergast, as another island beauty, teases the eyes.

His Majesty O'Keefe

Production

Warner. Dir Byron Haskin; Producer [Harold Hecht]; Screenplay Borden Chase, James Hill; Camera Otto Heller; Editor Manuel Del Campo; Music Robert Farnon Art Dir Ted Haworth, W. Simpson Robinson

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1953. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

Burt Lancaster Joan Rice Andre Morell Abraham Sofaer Archie Savage Benson Fong

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