Nate and Hayes
|Nate and Hayes / Savage Islands|
|Directed by||Ferdinand Fairfax|
|Produced by||Lloyd Phillips|
|Written by||John Hughes|
|Story by||David Odell|
|Music by||Trevor Jones|
|Edited by||John Shirley|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|18 November 1983|
|Box office||$1.9 million (domestic)|
Nate and Hayes (also known as Savage Islands in New Zealand and the UK) is a 1983 swashbuckling adventure film set in the South Pacific in the late 19th century. Directed by Ferdinand Fairfax and filmed on location in Fiji and New Zealand, it starred Tommy Lee Jones, Michael O'Keefe and Jenny Seagrove.
It was one of several 1980s films designed to capitalize on the popularity of Indiana Jones, but Nate and Hayes was a flop at the box office. This contributed to the stigma that pirate swashbucklers were box office poison, a belief not laid to rest until the 2003 release of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
The film tells the story of missionary Nathaniel "Nate" Williamson, taken to an island mission with his fiancée Sophie. Their ship, the Rona, is captained by the roguish William "Bully" Hayes, who also takes a liking to Sophie. When Sophie is kidnapped by slave trader Ben Pease, "Nate" teams with Hayes in order to find her. The two men enjoy a friendly rivalry for Sophie's affections, and she is to some extent torn between them, though committed to Nate.
- Tommy Lee Jones as Bully Hayes
- Michael O'Keefe as Nathaniel Williamson
- Max Phipps as Ben Pease
- Jenny Seagrove as Sophie
- Grant Tilly as Count von Rittenberg
- Peter Rowley as Louis Beck
- Prince Tui Teka as King of Ponape
The story was based on the adventures of real-life blackbirders Bully Hayes and Ben Pease. The character of Hayes was much softened in the film and Pease turned into a villain. The script was rewritten by John Hughes.
The director was Ferdinand Fairfax, an Englishman most recently notable for his direction of the television series, Churchill — The Wilderness Years. Fairfax described the film as a tongue-in-cheek adventure in the style of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. "I'm not making Carry on Pirates or anything like that, but I think it will be a very funny film," he said.
In his review, Roger Ebert gave the film one star and called it 'inexplicable', criticizing the tone and plot. The New York Times gave plaudits to the performances, but felt the film was 'no fun at all', critcizing the inconsistent action and production values.
- "Buccaneer comedy could put NZ on world movie map". The Canberra Times. 57, (17, 238). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 8 December 1982. p. 31. Retrieved 3 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- FILM CLIPS: 'MR. MOM' AUTHOR DEFIES TINSEL TYPEWRITER IMAGE FILM CLIPS London, Michael. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 23 Nov 1983: g1.
- "Oscar-winning Kiwi producer dies". 3 News NZ. January 28, 2013.
-  The Final Folly of Captain Dancy: How I Came to Write "The Final Folly of Captain Dancy" at Watt-Evans.com; by Lawrence Watt-Evans; published December 2008; retrieved June 4, 2013