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Return to Paradise (1953)

Gary Cooper , Mark Robson  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Return to Paradise + The Hanging Tree + Unconquered (Universal Cinema Classics)
Price for all three: $41.11

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Cooper
  • Directors: Mark Robson
  • Writers: Charles Kaufman
  • Producers: Mark Robson, Theron Warth, Robert Wise, Harry Lenart (assoc prod)
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: December 31, 2009
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002Y26UPG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,446 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Return to Paradise" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Morgan (Gary Cooper), a drifter and soldier-of-fortune, washes up on a Pacific Island that is a small dictatorial state under the puritanical rule Pastor Corbett (Barry Jones), a missionary.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really sophisticated for 1953 April 13, 2003
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This movie was Michener at his best--sympathetic with humanity as if he were amazed that beings capable of such evil were capable of such love. I saw this as a child, and it was the only movie that has has ever stuck in my consciousness with such persistence. No piece of art has ever come so close to being a life-changing experience. Some other reviewer mentioned that the last quarter of the movie ruined it from being a classic. Hell. The first quarter alone made it a classic. You don't even have to watch the last quarter, and you will be changed. And yet it is the last quarter that has moved me the most since becoming an adult. There is one scene there that was symbolic in a way that was incomprehensible to a child. Morgan, the no-good drifter, had abandoned his infant daughter to the natives and went bumming around the south Pacific. When he returns during WWII, he meets his daughter for the first time in fifteen years. The natives who raised her have spoiled her, letting her do whatever she wants, because she is the daughter of Morgan, who to them is a great hero and liberator. Of course the daughter, Tarea, is spoiled in another way: She can love no boy who doesn't match her heroic image of her father. One day, a U.S. Army pilot crash lands in the lagoon and soon lusts after the beautiful fifteen-year-old Tarea. Tarea, of course, sees an acceptable father substitute in the heroic but cynical young officer--someone who has come to rescue her people from the marauding Japanese. In one scene, Tarea does a little hula for the cocky unscrupulous pilot, expertly moving her tidy little body in an effort to seduce him. She is simultaneously totally lascivious and totally innocent. If I'm any judge of an audience, everybody was saying "No! Do not debase her. Do not ruin paradise!" Of course that is exactly what Michener was agonizing over in all his stories about Polynesian culture.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three-Quarters of a Great Movie August 22, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
For three quarters of the way, Return To Paradise is an engrossing fable of a man's search for meaning in a world which seems to have spun out of control. Until Gary Cooper returns to the island and reunites with his 16 year-old daughter, this film is a warm and moving interracial love story. While the last 20 minutes don't sink the film, they undercut what could have been a genuine classic. Still very worth watching, especially on a cold, snowy night in January! Luscious photography, filmed entirely in the South Pacific. And it goes without saying, Cooper is aces.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Great pic...a master piece. A man of the world comes to grips of a new simple way of life he never knew until he landed in Paradise....and found the woman who love him and changed his out look on life.......
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Old Movie October 30, 2009
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I enjoy revisiting old movies that I saw as a child on a small black and white television. Imagine my pleasant surprise of finding out the movie was in technicolor. This is a B movie that was never intended to win awards, but it is a morality play in the tradition of good versus evil. It shows that evil can be disguised and presented in the form of good and vice versa; that each of us must struggle to have an open mind and not pass judgement too quickly when confronted with beliefs different from our own.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie turned me into a beach bum February 26, 2012
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I first saw this technicolor movie in black and white on TV back in the mid 1950s. I fell in love with the island and its way of life. Only by accident did I recently discover this movie again some 50 plus years later. The island was even more beautiful seeing it in color. This was truly my Paradise and a place I wanted to retire to and live out my years.

The movie is almost a word-for-word account of the story in Michener's book of the same name, "Return to Paradise". Because it followed the book so closely, it made for a 5* movie. Rarely do movies follow the so closely the stories from which they originate. This movie is from one of the stories in Michener's book, "Return to Paradise". The title of that story in the book is "Mr. Morgan". After seeing this movie, I decided to buy the book which was published in 1951, two years before the movie's release.

If you love the beach and adventure romance stories set in idyllic settings, then this is the movie to get. In some ways, I would call this the Polynesian version of "Casablanca" with Cooper's character of Morgan akin to Bogart's character of Rick.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TO ME, THIS FILM IS A CLASSIC! March 15, 2010
By Pat
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have seen this film at a very young age (about 10 years old) and it always stayed with me. Beautiful story, very well acted, the bottom line: GREAT PICTURE.
I have been waiting a long time for it to be released on DVD, and finally found it here at
It is a(Create space) DVD-R Media release, and I must say, I am not disappointed at all, with the video and audio quality of the DVD-R.
It is a great step up from the VHS release. Thank you for being able to release this wonderful family classic.
Hope you will continue to release other great films that are almost impossible to find...such as:
-The Miracle(1959)
-The Bengal Brigade
-The Left Hand of God
-All the young men
-Cecil B. de Mille's North West Mounted Police
-King of the Khyber rifles
-Princess of the Nile
-Abandon ship, to name a few...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I really liked that.
Prompt delivery of this item. I really liked that.
Published 15 days ago by Tony Ramon
4.0 out of 5 stars historical perspective
Good look at Samoan culture but pretty racist in the view of natives.
Published 1 month ago by Judith Royer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hollywood Singularity
Well made and mostly without the peculiarities of Hollywood placing semi-blonde, nordic-looking actors, playing polynesians. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Omsted
4.0 out of 5 stars gary cooper
Good movie, different to his others but still good to watch if you are a gary cooper fan. thank you
Published 4 months ago by rozred
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie for rainy day.
I enjoy Gary Cooper films and this is a good one for collectors. It's not one of his greatest but you'll enjoy it on a rainy weekend.
Published 13 months ago by Harlan
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a great movie
it was a great movie that I could watch many times. it has a good secnes in it. great acting.
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Good movie from the "olden days". Uncomplicated, good plot, no vulgarity, no nudity, and social morais handled without pornographic display that is so common of today's... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I was so happy, I could have cried!
Like another movie I have searched for for years, I found this on Amazon as well. This is an all time favorite of mine, but very hard to find (I didn't know about Amazon, at the... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Pat B.
5.0 out of 5 stars AH!...Paradise!
This movie is one of my best remembered from long ago.
It has action, drama and romance.
A must see for anyone that likes Gary Cooper movies. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jocko
5.0 out of 5 stars For the music
I will not review the movie. Everyone else has described the movie in detail. I got interested in it because of the music. Read more
Published on September 1, 2012 by R. Brant
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