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Good Movies; Good Reflections of Hawaii

Would you like to make a virtual visit to Hawaii before you make the real trip? Watch a movie about Hawaii that actually was shot here. There have been a lot of them, but not all of them are worth the price of the rental or your time to sit through them. Here are some flicks the critics were kind to that also reflect Hawaii’s lifestyle or history fairly accurately.

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1998)The film tells the story of Belgian priest Damien DeVeuster from the year before his arrival in Kalaupapa, on the island of Molokai, through his years ministering to Hansen’s Disease patients until his death at the Molokai settlement in 1889. It’s is not a happy film to watch (The suffering of those afflicted with what was then called leprosy is graphically documented), but it was well received by critics with a h3 cast: Sir Derek Jacobi, Alice Krige, Kris Kristofferson, Leo McKern, Sam Neill, Peter O’Toole and David Wenham in the title role.

Picture Bride (1995)This is a warm story of a Japanese woman who travels to Hawaii to marry a man whom she has never met. She discovers that he is twice her age and turmoil surrounds her new home. Filmed on Oahu’s North Shore and the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island, it features a special appearance by acclaimed actor Toshiro Mifune.

From Here to Eternity (1953)This one won a bunch of Oscars. Set in pre-World War II Hawaii, it follows several army soldiers who are stationed on Oahu on the eve of Pearl Harbor. The film won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra), Best Supporting Actress (Donna Reed) and five other awards.

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is shown from both the American and Japanese perspectives and points out the mistakes made by decision makers on both sides. The film features a h3 cast, including Joseph Cotton, Martin Balsam, Jason Robards and James Whitmore.

Blue Hawaii (1961)Elvis Presley plays a G.I who returns to Hawaii to enjoy life with his buddies and girlfriend, in spite of his parents’ desire to have him join the family business. Okay, it’s a guilty-pleasure period piece, but it’s good fun and features great music and beautiful Hawaiian scenery.

Lilo and Stitch (2002)From a review by Ben Falk: With its unusual Hawaiian setting … and fantastic Elvis-led musical interludes, “Lilo and Stitch” is a genuinely original offering. Touching, funny and strange, the film is a more than successful response to the power of rival studios making creative films like “Shrek” and “Ice Age.”

Blue Crush (2002)Set on Oahu’s North Shore, this surf film made a star of Kate Bosworth. You get plenty of bikinis, music, romance, great cinematography and the beauty and thrills of excitement of Hawaii’s favorite sport.

Watch a couple of them and when you fall in love with the islands give us a call and book your Hawaiian Vacation 1-800-843-8771.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on May 27, 2008