09 November, 2011

"His Majesty O'Keefe"

From the Fiji Museum's Facebook Page - "His Majesty O'Keefe", a film starring Burt Lancaster, was shot in Fiji, mainly around Suva, in Cumming Street, in that grand 'ole gal'- "The Grand Pacific Hotel", and off Deuba, even though it was filmed back in 1954, Deuba is still Deuba..although a little more of a pristine beach than it is now. If you want a walk down memory lane through these parts of Suva in the fifties, rent "His Majesty O'Keefe" and have a good chuckle to yourself. Loved the 'acting' from the locals.

It was actually based on an actual event that occurred in Yap Island.

The 1950 novel His Majesty O'Keefe by Lawrence Klingman and Gerald Green in fact depicts a historical figure, Captain David Dean O'Keefe (ca. 1824-1921).

Born in Ireland, O'Keefe immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Savannah, Georgia. In the 1870s he traveled to the South Pacific, where he became shipwrecked on the island of Yap.

(The film fancifully depicts his crew throwing him off his own ship during a mutiny.) Eventually O'Keefe established a lucrative trade in copra, or dried coconut flesh, on the same island.

During that period Yap was occupied by both Germany and Spain; characters depicted in the novel (and film) such as Alfred Tetins, Bully Hayes, Fatumak and Boogulroo all existed in real life. http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/410465%7C410113/His-Majesty-O-Keefe.html

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