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Tamahine 1963 poster.jpg
1963 theatrical poster
Directed by Philip Leacock
Written by Denis Cannan
Produced by John Bryan
StarringNancy Kwan
John Fraser
Dennis Price
Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth
Edited by Peter Tanner
Music by Malcolm Arnold
Distributed by Warner-Pathé Distributors (UK)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (U.S.)
Release date
  • 18 July 1963 (1963-07-18)(London)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Tamahine is a 1963 British comedy film directed by Philip Leacock and starring Nancy Kwan, Dennis Price and John Fraser. It is a film about a Polynesian woman who believes she can change the culture of Hallow School, a British boys' boarding school. The story was filmed at Wellington College in county Berkshire.


The film had its World Premiere on 18 July 1963 at the Empire, Leicester Square in London's West End. [1]


When her father dies, orphan teenager Tamahine is sent from her South Pacific island home to live with Charles Poole, her father's cousin and the headmaster of Hallow, a prestigious all-male school in England. Richard, Charles' son and school student, falls in love with her, but she considers him tabu because of the closeness of their family relationship. Another suitor is the art master, Clove, after he breaks up with Charles' daughter Diana.

Meanwhile, Tamahine has trouble adjusting to the puzzling social mores of her new home, exasperating Charles, but making him start to question his own joyless existence. In the end, Richard convinces Tamahine that their connection is distant enough that marrying him does not violate English tabus, while Clove resigns to go paint in a foreign land, accompanied by Diana. The film leaps ahead several years, showing a scruffily bearded Charles enjoying life on Tamahine's island, while Richard takes his place as headmaster, watched by Tamahine and their children.


For comparison, A French Mistress, three years earlier, (1960), used the same theme of a visiting foreign teacher at a British school causing a cultural clash.


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  1. The Times, 18 July 1963, Page 2