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Bird of Paradise


1951 : Bird of Paradise
L'Oiseau de Paradis
de Delmer Daves
Avec Debra Paget & Jeff Chandler.
Louis Jourdan as André Laurence




When the film was released, The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther, panned the film, writing, "There is certainly nothing original—or particularly blissful, we would say—about the romantic tumble here taken by a visiting white man for a beauteous native maid...Unfortunately, Delmer Daves, who directed and wrote the script, either didn't or wasn't permitted to pitch the whole film in this slyly kidding vein. And the consequence is a rambling mishmosh of South Sea romance and travesty, of solemn high-priesting and low clowning, of never-never spectacle and sport




         




On the other hand, the staff at Variety magazine gave the film a favorable review, writing, "Richard Walton Tully's old legit piece, Bird of Paradise, makes another trip to the screen in a refurbished version.






Previous filming of the play was in 1932 and, while Delmer Daves' version deviates from the Tully form, the essentials of the drama are still there, plus a beautiful Technicolor camera job, haunting island music and the use of actual locales...



         


Paget hits a high level in her performance as the Princess Kalua. She, as well as the other players give their characters considerable sincerity. Jourdan is an excellent choice as the island visitor, as is Chandler as the prince."










    

Debra Paget & Louis Jourdan




Jeff Chandler and Louis Jourdan




    




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