“Tiki Night” Comes to Heritage House as the East Brainerd Arts Center Presents King Vidor's Bird of Paradise on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Running time is 1:22) at Heritage House Arts & Civic Center; 1428 Jenkins Road in Chattanooga. Admission is free
Review of the film:
When a young South Seas sailor falls overboard, the beautiful daughter of a Polynesian king dives in and saves his life. Thus begins the romance of Johnny (JOEL McCREA) and Luana (DOLORES del RIO). Though Luana is promised to another man, Johnny whisks her away, and for a brief time the lovers live very happily together. But, when a local volcano threatens their lives, Luana knows what she must do .
Originally released on August 12, 1932, Bird of Paradise serves as a particularly good example of Pre-Code Hollywood, and shows how filmic creativity flourished in the halcyonic days before the strictures of the 1935 Production Code set in. For example, in most of the film the lovely Dolores Del Rio can be seen running around with not much more than a grass skirt and flower lei on, causing future paramour Orson Welles to state, “Dolores represents the highest erotic ideal with her performance.”
The film was remade in 1951 in a version starring Debra Paget, Louis Jourdan and Jeff Chandler.
Bird of Paradise is presented from a new new 4K print from the archives of George Eastman House. The film is but one of an ongoing series of classic and international films curated and screened by Heritage House film historian Kris Jones and accompanied by light refreshments from the pantry of Heritage House manager Chris Holley. A short Q&A about the film will follow the screening.