Donovan's Reef

  • Film
  • Action and adventure
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Most critics agree that Donovan's Reef is a fun film - 'A couple of Navy men who have retired to a South Sea island now spend most of their time raising hell', runs one brief description of the film - but beneath the fun lies one of Ford's most desperate films. Set on an idyllic island, the film seemingly depicts a 'natural' (semi-feudal) society in which Ford's wandering heroes (Wayne, Marvin and Warden) can at last settle down and find peace. However, the arrival of Warden's Boston-reared daughter (Allen) reveals that, like the town in The Sun Shines Bright, the island of Ailakaowa is a paradise built on ritual and racial division. In short, a very bleak - but very funny - comedy.

Release details

Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Ford
Screenwriter: Frank S Nugent, James Edward Grant
Cast: John Wayne
Lee Marvin
Jack Warden
Elizabeth Allen
Cesar Romero
Dorothy Lamour
Jacqueline Mazurki
Mike Mazurki
Marcel Dalio
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