In a new, digital reincarnation, “Cinerama transports you to lush tropic islands…adventure-splashed with a thousand excitements!”
Cinerama's South Seas Adventure proved to be the 5th and last of the original, 3-panel Cinerama travelogues. Released in 1958, and 4 months after the 3-panel competitor, Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich, it is at moments similar, although overall an entirely different tale than previously seen in the format. With a partial narration by Orson Welles, the picture also, surprisingly may be the first to chronicle primitive bungee jumping.
Five separate stories are dramatized, woven out of a series of theoretical, island-hopping voyages that start en route to Hawaii, and after traversing the South Seas as far as Australia, end up flying back home from Honolulu.
In between, through both an adventurous shipboard passenger, a returning American WWII veteran, and the enthused narration, we're taken island hopping to stops in places lush, tranquil, and inviting, like Tahiti, Tonga and Fiji, then to and the even more exotic, primitive Pentecost Island. Native dancing and song are celebrated alongside cultures and customs spanning thousands of years. Sailing onward to New Zealand, we're reminded it's also an island, in fact two, with an unexpected geography including volcanoes and snow-covered mountain ranges. From there we' travel on to Australia, where we follow the arrival of a new European immigrant man and his young daughter, as they get accustomed to native animals like koalas and kangaroos, and then settle in for a new life in the "outback". There, they become integral in stories illustrating life in such isolated areas, including both the "School of the Air", a classroom conducted over the radio and the Flying Doctor Service, similarly radio-dispatched.
Starring: Orson Welles, Kay Johnson, Marlene Hunter, Ted Hunter, Jean-Louis Martin,
Directed By: Carl Dudley, Richard Goldstone, Francis D. Lyon, Walter Thompson, Basil Wrangell
Written By: Charles Kaufman, Joe Ansen, Harold Medford
Score By: Alex North
Video: 1080P / 2.56:1 / Color
Audio: DTS-HD Master 5.1
Theatrical Release: 1958
Runtime: 126 Minutes + 15 Minute Intermission
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Region Code: Region 0 (DVD) Region A,B,C (Blu-ray) (All Regions)
Special Features: Interviews with original participants, a vintage Renault promotional film as originally presented in 3-panel Cinerama, clips from In The Wake of Captain Cook, a Carl Dudley short on the South Seas with behind the scenes filming of South Seas Adventure, many behind the scene stills and promotional materials, a booklet reproduction of an original program, and much more!
Genre: Documentary, Travelogue