Pagan Love Song (1950)
|Writer||William S. Stone|
|Content Rating||Approved (Approved)|
Pagan Love Song
Pagan Love Song is a 1950 American romantic musical film released by MGM and starring Esther Williams and Howard Keel. Set in Tahiti, it was based on the novel Tahiti Landfall by William S. Stone.
Mimi Bennett lives with her wealthy aunt Kate on the South Pacific isle of Tahiti. A half-Tahitian, half-Caucasian girl, Mimi's dream is to someday leave this world to live in America.
Hazard Endicott's arrival changes her plans. He is a school teacher from Ohio who has inherited a Tahiti estate. His first task is to hire a servant and he mistakes Mimi for a native girl, offering her a job. She amuses herself by not telling him the truth.
The estate turns out to be little more than a shack. Endicott also miscalculates an invitation to a party at Kate's, coming in casual island attire to an event with elegantly dressed guests. Mimi takes pity on him and a romance blooms.
- Esther Williams as Mimi Bennett (singing voice was dubbed by Betty Wand)
- Howard Keel as Hazard Endicott
- Minna Gombell as Kate
- Charles Mauu as Tavee
- Rita Moreno as Teuru
The film was originally announced as Tahiti and was to star Ann Miller, Howard Keel and Ricardo Montalbán. Eventually Miller was replaced by Esther Williams and Montalban by Charles Mauu. The title was then changed to Hawaii.
The film was to have been directed by Stanley Donen but Williams refused to work with him again after Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Location work was done on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Esther Williams realised she was pregnant during the shoot. She claimed she nearly drowned during filming.
The film went $400,000 over budget.
"Sea of the Moon", performed by voice-dubbed Esther Williams, was cut from the released film; this video outtake still survives today.
Howard Keel sings "Why Is Love So Crazy?" in the released film version, but a reprise performed by Esther Williams was cut; this video outtake also still exists.
Howard Keel's song "Music on the Water" was deleted from the released film. The audio pre-recording survives; the status of the video outtake is unknown.
According to MGM records the film earned $2,157,000 in the US and Canada and $1,203,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $108,000. This was considered a relative disappointment for an Esther Williams movie.