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"Hawaii" in the history of film


skimpole
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I think there were Hollywood movies before Hawaii that presented missionaries in a bad light.  After all Elmer Gantry won an oscar for Burt Lancaster only six years older (technically not a missionary but still).  But had there ever been a Hollywood movie that viewed sibling incest with anything other than horror or disgust before Hawaii?  While not exactly sympathetic, having the case against it made by Von Sydow's insufferable bigot is...a bit odd.

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Yeah, I found the film a little uncomfortable to watch (Thanks to Mr. Von Sydow for that; he was wonderful.) It didn't take long to come to the conclusion that Julie Andrews' character was, at heart, the true minister.

I wonder how folks viewed this film when it was originally in theaters.

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Why should all movies with incest in them condemn incest? That's like saying all movies with drinking in them should condemn the evils of alcohol. Maybe a more balanced view of the subject matter can be presented. Not every film should be made to carry out the judgments of Christian viewers.

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20 hours ago, sagebrush said:

Yeah, I found the film a little uncomfortable to watch (Thanks to Mr. Von Sydow for that; he was wonderful.) It didn't take long to come to the conclusion that Julie Andrews' character was, at heart, the true minister.

I wonder how folks viewed this film when it was originally in theaters.

Well it got 7 oscar nominations, though that may only show that the studio really pushed it.  The most prestigious nomination was for Best Supporting Actress.  I was looking up for some reviews at the time.  Apparently Andrew Sarris and John Simon didn't bother to review it, or didn't think it was worth including in their anthologies for the period.  Stanley Kauffmann apparently wasn't reviewing movies at the time, the New Republic critic being Pauline Kael then.  She thought it was better than she thought it would be.

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Well I loved HAWAII the movie, although wouldn't attempt reading the thick novel!

Two negative aspects of the story mentioned- proselytizing & incest are included as part of the story for the very reason they make modern viewers uncomfortable. It's to illustrate anther culture's "traditions" and our personal judgement.

It's especially important knowing these tropical, remote islands are commonly referred to as "paradise". Maybe paradise until the white man "civilized" it. This movie is a great illustration of this concept, put in historical context.

 

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