AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Hawaii Calls
Director: Edward F. Cline (Dir)
Release Date:   11 Mar 1938
Production Date:   5 Nov--mid-Dec 1937
Duration (in mins):   71-73
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Cast:   Bobby Breen (Billy Coulter)  
    Ned Sparks (Strings)  
    Irvin S. Cobb (Captain O'Hare)  
    Gloria Holden (Mrs. Milburn)  
    Warren Hull (Commander [Joe] Milburn)  
    Mamo Clark (Hina)  
    Raymond Paige (Himself)  
    Aggie Auld (Hula dancer)  
    Cy Kendall (Hawaiian policeman)  
    Herbert Rawlinson (Mr. Harlow)  
    William Harrigan (Blake)  
    Juanita Quigley (Doris Milburn)  
    Pua Lani (Pua)  
    Dora Clement (Mrs. Harlow)  
    Donald Kirke (Regon)  
    Philip Ahn (Julius)  
    Ward Bond (Muller)  
    William Abbey (Lonzo)  
    Birdie DeBolt (Aunty Pinau)  
    Larence Duran (Banana)  
    Ruben Maldonado (Solly)  
    Uilani Silva (Hula dancer)  
    Jerry Mandy (Taxi driver)  
    Ruben Duran (Ka-ne)  

Summary: When ocean liner stowaways Billy Coulter and Pua, a young Hawaiian, are caught in the cabin of Strings, a songwriter and ship musician, Captain O'Hare tells the orphan Billy that he will be sent back to San Francisco as soon as the boat docks in Honolulu. Although Billy's singing abilities impress the captain, he remains adamant about returning him, and consequently, when the ship lands, Billy and Pua dive overboard and swim to freedom on shore. In Honolulu, Pua takes Billy to his sister Hina, who shields him from the police. Concerned for Billy's safety, Hina then takes the boys to Maui, where Aunty Pinau lives, and is joined by Strings, who has violated his rule about not setting foot on the islands he writes about in order to search for the stowaways. After a few idyllic days on Maui, Billy is spotted by Navy commander Joe Milburn and his wife, former passengers on O'Hare's ship who are visiting the well-to-do Harlows. Unknown to Milburn, a group of foreign agents are plotting to steal secret government papers from him with the help of Julius, a trusted Harlow servant. That night, at Aunty Pinau's annual luau, Milburn confronts Billy and convinces him to return to Captain O'Hare to clear his name. On his way to the marina, Billy and chauffeur Julius are stopped and questioned by police about Milburn's stolen papers. Billy, remembering a conversation he overheard while exploring a cave with Pua, realizes that Julius is the thief and escapes from the car. Eventually, Billy and Pua lead Milburn and the police to the spies and are hailed as national heroes for their efforts. Billy then sings farewell to Hawaii as he and the Milburns set sail for San Francisco. 

Production Company: Bobby Breen Productions, Inc.  
  Principal Productions, Inc.  
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Edward F. Cline (Dir)
  John Sherwood (Asst dir)
Producer: Edwin Schatz (Pres)
  Sol Lesser (Prod)
  Barney Briskin (Prod)
Writer: Wanda Tuchock (Scr)
  Dan Jarrett (Contr to trmt)
Photography: Jack McKenzie (Photog)
  Paul Marques (Hawaiian backgrounds [photog by])
Art Direction: Lewis J. Rachmil (Art dir)
Film Editor: Arthur Hilton (Film ed)
Costumes: Waldron Johnson (Wardrobe supv)
Music: Hugo Riesenfeld (Mus score)
  Abe Meyer (Mus supv)
  Max Terr (Vocal supv)
Sound: Hugh McDowell Jr. (Sd eng)
Dance: Aggie Auld (Dance dir)
Country: United States

Music: "EspaƱa" by Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier.
Songs: "Hawaii Calls" and "Down Where the Trade Winds Blow," words and music by Harry Owens; "That's the Hawaiian in Me," words and music by Johnny Noble and Margarita Lake; "Song of the Islands," words and music by Charles E. King; "Macushla," words and music by Josephine V. Rowe and Dermot MacMurrough.
Composer: Charles E. King
  Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier
  Margarita Lake
  Dermot MacMurrough
  Johnny Noble
  Harry Owens
  Josephine V. Rowe
Source Text: Based on the novel Stowaways in Paradise by Don Blanding (New York, 1931).
Authors: Don Blanding

PCA NO: 4007
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: with songs
 
Subjects (Major): Espionage
  Hawaii
  Orphans
  Stowaways
 
Subjects (Minor): Chases
  Foreign agents
  Hawaiians
  Luaus
  Officers (Military)
  Ocean liners
  Police
  Sea captains
  Secret documents
  Singers
  Songwriters
  United States. Navy

Note: Don Blanding was Hawaii's "island poet," according to MPH . Onscreen credits state that the film's title was "inspired by Radio Station K.G.M.B." in Honolulu. Opening and closing onscreen credits vary in cast order. In the opening credits of the viewed print, Ward Bond and Mamo Clark are given top billing, and Raymond Paige and His Orchestra are given a special mention on the title card. It is possible that the opening credits were changed for television broadcast. A HR news item adds Margaret Cole to the cast, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   24 Feb 38   p. 3.
Film Daily   25 Feb 38   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Oct 37   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Nov 37   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Dec 37   pp. 14-15.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Feb 38   p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily   24 Feb 38   p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald   4 Dec 37   p. 38.
Motion Picture Herald   5 Mar 38   p. 37, 40
New York Times   29 Apr 38   p. 17.
Variety   2 Mar 38   p. 15.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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