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Origin of the term, The Big Kahuna.....


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This is supposed to be an old native term from Hawaii, but we have heard it a lot in surf movies from the 1960s.


Wiki says:


The use of the term in reference to surfing can be traced back to the 1959 film Gidget, in which "The Big Kahuna", played by Cliff Robertson, (Martin Milner in the TV episode), was the leader of a group of surfers. The term then became commonplace in Beach Party films of the 1960s such as Beach Blanket Bingo, where the "Big Kahuna" was the best surfer on the beach.


HA! I heard an earlier movie reference to the term in CALL OF THE JUNGLE, a 1944 South-Sea island film that was on TCM this morning. the big Kahuna was the head native of the island.




Does anyone else know an earlier reference to the name or term in any earlier movie??


In addition, I was also interested in the history of actress Ann Corio, who played the native girl Tana. She made only a few films and was not famous in movies, but she is supposed to have eventually become rich and famous in burlesque theater. :)



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