Aloma of the South Seas (1926 film)

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Aloma of the South Seas
Aloma of the South Seas ad in Motion Picture News (March 6, 1926 to April 24, 1926) (page 629 crop).jpg
1926 advertisement
Directed by Maurice Tourneur
Written by James Ashmore Creelman
Based onAloma of the South Seas
by John B. Hymer and LeRoy Clemens
Produced by E. Lloyd Sheldon
Maurice Tourneur
Adolph Zukor
Jesse L. Lasky
Starring Gilda Gray
Percy Marmont
Warner Baxter
Cinematography Harry Fischbeck
Edited byE. Lloyd Sheldon
Music by Robert Hood Bowers [1]
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • May 16, 1926 (1926-05-16)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
Language Silent (English intertitles)
Box office US$ 3 million [2]

Aloma of the South Seas is a lost 1926 American silent comedy drama film starring Gilda Gray as an erotic dancer, filmed in Puerto Rico and Bermuda, and based on a 1925 play of the same title by John B. Hymer and LeRoy Clemens. [3] [4]


Gilda Gray, 1922 publicity photo Gilda Gray, publicity photo c. 1922.jpg
Gilda Gray, 1922 publicity photo

The film was spoofed by a 1926 Mutt and Jeff animated cartoon, Aroma of the South Seas. [5]


Bob Holden (Percy Marmont), an embittered World War I veteran, has gone to the South Seas to drown in drink the memory of his old girlfriend, Sylvia (Julanne Johnston) who has married his best friend, Van Templeton (William Powell) in his absence. This happened only because Templeton withheld word from Sylvia that Holden had survived the war. In the South Seas, Holden becomes the object of Aloma’s (Gilda Gray) loving and ministering attentions and eventually promises to marry her. Naturally, Nuitane (Warner Baxter), Aloma’s abandoned Polynesian boyfriend is jealous. The plot gets thicker when Templeton and Sylvia arrive on the island rather inexplicably. Templeton tries to force himself upon Aloma but is foiled by Holden. The jilted Nuitane decides to feed Holden to the sharks, but suddenly realizes that Templeton is the extra man in the love pentagon. As Templeton is devoured, Nuitane calmly observes: “Sharks not eat Nuitane—sharks like white meat.” Minus the evil interloper, the two couples fall happily into a race-appropriate (for that era) clinch.



The film premiered at Paramount's Rialto Theatre in New York City on May 16, 1926. [6] Grossing $3 million in the U.S. alone, this was the most successful film of 1926 and the fourth most successful film of the 1920s. [7]


Aloma of the South Seas lantern slide Aloma of the South Seas lanternslide (cropped).jpeg
Aloma of the South Seas lantern slide

The film is now considered to be a lost film. [8] [9]


The film was remade as Aloma of the South Seas (1941), starring Dorothy Lamour and Jon Hall. The plot was completely reworked, leaving only the setting in common with the earlier film.

See also

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  1. "Robert Hood Bowers". Billboard. January 10, 1942. p. 31. Retrieved December 15, 2009.
  2. Box Office Information for "Aloma of the South Seas"
  3. Progressive Silent Film List: Aloma of the South Seas at
  4. "Theatre: New Plays: May 4, 1925". Time. May 4, 1925. Archived from the original on February 19, 2012. Retrieved December 15, 2009.
  5. Sampson, Henry T. (1998). That's Enough, Folks: Black Images in Animated Cartoons, 1900-1960. Scarecrow Press. pp. 84–85. ISBN   978-0810832503.
  6. "Film Reviews: Aloma of the South Seas", Variety, 83 (1): 16, May 19, 1926, retrieved April 27, 2022
  7. Christensen, Terry; Haas, Peter J. (2005). Projecting Politics: Political Messages in American Film . M. E. Sharpe. pp.  326. ISBN   978-0-7656-1443-8 . Retrieved December 15, 2009. aloma of the south seas.
  8. Bryant, Roger (2006). William Powell: the life and films. McFarland. p. 30. ISBN   978-0-7864-2602-7 . Retrieved December 15, 2009.
  9. Aloma of the South Seas at Arne Andersen's Lost Film Files: Paramount Pictures 1926 Archived August 22, 2015, at the Wayback Machine