Return to Paradise (1953 film)

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Return to Paradise
Return to Paradise 1953 poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Mark Robson
Produced by
Screenplay by Charles Kaufman
Story by James Michener
Starring Gary Cooper
Barry Jones
Roberta Haynes
John Hudson
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Cinematography Winton C. Hoch
Edited by Daniel Mandell
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • July 10, 1953 (1953-07-10)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.8 million (US)[1]

Return to Paradise is a South Seas drama film released by United Artists in 1953. The film was directed by Mark Robson and starred Gary Cooper, Barry Jones and Roberta Haynes. It was based on a short story, Mr. Morgan, by James Michener in his short story collection Return to Paradise, his sequel to Tales of the South Pacific. It was filmed on location in Matautu, Western Samoa (present-day Samoa).


Mr. Morgan (Cooper) washes up on an island in the South Pacific, ruled by Pastor Corbett (Barry Jones), a missionary who rules as a religious despot. Morgan stays on the island despite his conflicting with Corbett and has an illegitimate child, Turia (Moira Walker), by island native Maeva (Haynes). After her death, he leaves the island, but also leaves her daughter behind. He returns to the island shortly before World War II, and his daughter falls in love with an American pilot who crash-lands on the island. An interesting irony is that when Morgan first arrived, Corbett tried to force him to leave the island before getting one of the girls pregnant. Then the same thing happens again when his daughter, Turia, tries to have an affair with the American pilot. Morgan intervenes, and makes the pilot leave. In the last scene his daughter forgives him.


  • Gary Cooper (Mr. Morgan)
  • Barry Jones (Pastor Corbett)
  • Roberta Haynes (Maeva)
  • Moira Walker (Turia)
  • John Hudson (Captain Harry Faber)
  • Le Mamea Matatumua Ata (Tonga)
  • Hans Kruse (Rori, age 21)
  • Terry Dunleavy (Mac)
  • Howard Poulson (Russ)
  • Donald Ashford (Cutler)
  • Herbert Ah Sue (Kura)
  • Va'a (Rori, age 9)


The title song "Return to Paradise" was featured in the soundtrack.

DVD Release[edit]

Return to Paradise was brought to DVD on December 31, 2009 as part of the MGM Limited Edition Collection series.


  1. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954

External links[edit]