Watch Pacific Destiny
- 1 hr 37 min
Pacific Destiny is a 1956 film that journeys into the varied landscapes of the Pacific Islands, in a powerful narrative of human courage, love, and ingenuity. The film stars Denholm Elliott (also known for his work in the Indiana Jones series) as an English tea planter called Clive Lorimer, and Susan Stephen as his wife, Anna. The story opens with Clive and Anna before their wedding in the early 1940s. They are both excited about their future together and about Clive's work prospects. Having inherited a tea plantation in Malaya, they decide to marry in Singapore before heading to their new home. But their dream of a happily ever after is thwarted when the Japanese invade the region and take them both prisoner.
The next segment of the film follows Clive's journey from Singapore to various prisoner-of-war camps along the Thai-Burma railway, where he forms a makeshift family of fellow prisoners. The film portrays the conditions and struggles of the POWs - harsh treatment, unforgiving weather, and a constant sense of uncertainty. Alongside Clive, we witness the courage and resilience of men and women unwilling to succumb to their circumstances. They find a way to survive in the grimmest of situations and retain hope, even in the midst of despair.
The film then skips ahead a few years to the end of the Second World War, where a now-emaciated Clive is released from the POW camp, but with no certainty or direction in his life. He comes back to England, only to find that his family business and fortune have been devastated by the war. His wife Anna has been dead for three years, and his daughter, whom he left as an infant, is now a young girl living with her aunt and uncle.
With little to keep him in England, Clive embarks on a journey to find his daughter, who he believes still lives in Singapore. The second half of the film follows his journey across the Pacific, where he seeks employment on various small cargo ships, moving from one island to another, enduring storms, sickness, and shipwrecks. Eventually, he reaches the Solomon Islands, where he finds his daughter in a mission school.
While Clive intended only to re-establish a paternal relationship with his daughter, he finds himself drawn to the beauty and magic of the Pacific Islands. He takes a shine to a young woman called Tana, played by Susan Stephen, who lives with her father and grandmother on the island. Clive stays on the island, tending to his tea plants and developing a deep affection for Tana. However, her father, played fantastically by Felix Felton, is a stern man, and their cultural differences create challenges they must overcome.
Throughout the movie, the viewer is treated to breathtaking scenes of the Pacific Islands, particularly the Solomon Islands, where the film was primarily shot. The film showcases lush landscapes of tropical forests, coral reefs teeming with life, and majestic mountain ranges, providing the viewer with glimpses into the rich ecosystems and cultures that distinguish the Pacific from the rest of the world.
Overall, Pacific Destiny is a heartwarming and poignant tale of human endurance, adaptability, and the power of hope. The film has themes that have universal appealâlove, family, and persistenceâmaking it an enthralling watch for anyone with a heart.