Donovan's Reef

Watch Donovan's Reef

"Gangway...For This Years BIG Adventure!"
  • Approved
  • 1963
  • 1 hr 49 min
  • 6.7  (9,797)
  • 64

Donovan's Reef is a 1963 American comedy-drama film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne, Lee Marvin, and Elizabeth Allen. The film is set on the fictional island of Haleakaloha in the South Pacific, where three former Navy officers, Donovan (John Wayne), Gilhooley (Lee Marvin), and Dedham (Jack Warden), have settled down and are running a bar.

Donovan's Reef is a lighthearted and entertaining film that follows the three main characters, who are all good friends, as they go about their daily lives on the island. Donovan, a tough and gruff ex-Navy officer, is the leader of the trio and is widely respected by the locals. He is also known for his tough love approach to the people on the island, especially when it comes to their children.

Gilhooley, on the other hand, is a hard-drinking and rowdy Irishman who has a soft spot for the ladies. Dedham is the third member of the group and is a wealthy businessman who has come to the island to get away from the pressures of his job.

The film opens with a scene where a young girl named Amelia (Lola Albright) arrives on the island looking for Donovan, who is her father. She has never met him before and is shocked to learn that he is a tough-as-nails bar owner. Donovan is equally surprised to find out that he has a daughter, and the two quickly develop a bond.

As the story progresses, Gilhooley gets into trouble with the island's most powerful family, the Andersons. Their patriarch, Miss Sarah (Elizabeth Allen), is a tough and vindictive woman who doesn't take kindly to Gilhooley causing trouble. When she finds out that he has taken her niece, Marisa (Dorothy Lamour), out on a date, she becomes even more enraged and vows to get her revenge.

Meanwhile, Dedham is trying to impress a woman named Amelia (Jacqueline Malouf), who is the daughter of a wealthy oil tycoon. He wants to show her that he is capable of running his business and taking care of himself. However, his efforts are complicated by the fact that he is constantly being harassed by a local woman named Boozy (Chill Wills), who is after his money.

As tensions rise between the Andersons and Gilhooley, Donovan and Miss Sarah find themselves drawn to each other. Despite their initial animosity towards each other, they begin to recognize each other's strengths and develop a mutual respect.

Donovan's Reef is a classic John Ford film that showcases the best of his directorial and storytelling abilities. The film is full of humor, drama, and action, and it captures the spirit of the South Pacific in a way that few other films have done. The performances by John Wayne, Lee Marvin, and the rest of the cast are outstanding, and the chemistry between them is palpable.

Overall, Donovan's Reef is a must-watch film for anyone who loves classic cinema or wants to experience the magic of the South Pacific on the big screen.

Donovan's Reef is a 1963 adventure movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 64.

Donovan's Reef
Where to Watch Donovan's Reef
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 49 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (9,797)
  • Metascore