Film Historian Matthew Locey shares his favorite movies from the golden age of Hollywood – the 1960s!


BLUE HAWAIʽI (1961) PARAMOUNT. Classic Elvis Presley hip-swing filmed and set on Kauaʽi and Oʽahu. Elvis marries a part-Hawaiian young lady despite is mom’s Southern prejudices.

DEVIL AT 4 O’CLOCK, THE (1961) COLUMBIA. Spencer Tracy and Frank Sinatra, Tracy as alcoholic Priest and Sinatra as a convict both helping leper island children escape from catastrophic volcano eruption on a small Tahitian isle.

DIAMOND HEAD (1962) COLUMBIA. Charlton Heston stars as Euro-American hypocritical prejudice local islander planter. Filmed and set all over Hawaii.

DONOVAN’S REEF (1963) PARAMOUNT. John Wayne, Dorothy Lamour; Lee Marvin. Light-hearted film drama about ex-WWII American vets living on a Pacific isle.

GIDGET GOES HAWAIIAN (1961) COLUMBIA. Quintessential beach party movie with James Darren and Deborah Walley. Set and filmed at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and the mecca of So Cal beach partiers – Waikiki.

GODZILLA VS MOTHRA (1964) TOHO PRODS. (Japan). Classic Japanese cult movie, stars a giant, city destroying, moth. Ooohhhh I’m scared! Interestingly, this monster of a moth comes from an enchanted South Seas Isle, named Alilena.

HAWAIʽI (1966) MIRISCH/UNITED ARTISTS. Great movie of James Michener’s tell-it- like-it-was account of the 1800’s missionary influence on the islands. Julie Andrews, Max von Sydow, Richard Harris, Gene Hackman, Carroll O’Connor star with Manu Tupou.

IN HARMS WAY (1965) PARAMOUNT. John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Patricia Neal and many others star in this WWII ship out of Pearl Harbor drama. Directed by Otto Preminger.

LT. ROBIN CRUSOE, USN (1966) BUENA VISTA / DISNEY. Dick Van Dyke, Nancy Kwan in WWII story about lost Navy man’s relationship with a South Seas native girl played by Kwan. Fun play on tiki idol worship and written by Disney himself.

MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1962) MGM. Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, Richard Harris and Tarita all starring in classic story of mean captain and his crew. In this infamous story, the crew make mutinous plans after a long stopover in a Tahitian paradise. Another noteworthy MGM version of the 1935 film.

MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (1961) COLUMBIA (UK). From Jules Verne novel and stars Herbert Lom. Confederate prisoners escape by hot air balloon and get blown way off course. They then land on an uncharted Pacific isle inhabited by giant animals (crabs, bees, birds) and Captain Nemo himself.


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