The Louis Jourdan Website - Bird of Paradise
Director: Delmer Daves
Writers: Richard Walton Tully (play), Delmer Daves (screenplay)
Other cast members: Debra Paget, Jeff Chandler, Everett Sloane, Maurice Schwartz, Jack Elam
Filmed on location in Hawaii starting October 1950 and released by 20th Century Fox in March 1951
Louis Jourdan plays a young Frenchman who goes to a Polynesian island where his college friend is son of the local chief. Falling in love with the chief's daughter and marrying her makes paradise come true for him - but all too briefly.
Living in memories, and often having a great influence on people well into their lives, a first deriding glance might be giving BIRD OF PARADISE too short a shrift, even if it is not the tense dramatic part Louis Jourdan might have hoped for after over a year and a half off the sound stage.
BIRD OF PARADISE is the remake of a 1932 Hollywood-style tropical romance, blended with genuine anthropological data.
Built on a theme of cross-cultural conflict and attempts to bridge the gap, this film is one that many cinema-goers have found had a deep message for them - the basic appeal that Louis Jourdan's character discovered in the island people and their way of life - one centered around kindness.
However, the actor's yearning for a complex and subtle part to play after countless suspensions was hardly fulfilled in the smooth and easy-going character he played in BIRD OF PARADISE.