Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Polynesian Belle Just Fails to Ring

Cleveland Press June 8, 1964

"Tamahine" is all about a Tahitian gal who settles down at a British boys' school, upsets the stuffy routine, has some romantic entanglements, solves a few problems and leaves everyone happier. Everyone, that is, except the viewer who has seen the same sort of thing in the "Tammy" and "Gidget" pictures.

Our Tahitian Tammy though, is safely married off at the end of this film, thus saving the cinematic world from another series, a prospect frightful to behold.

The title role is enacted by Nancy Kwan in a performance in which she gets by on looks rather than ability.

AS HER ADMIRING swain John Fraser is handsome, pleasant and capable of what little demands are made on him. Dennis Price, an old pro, is the headmaster of the school who must also become Miss Kwan's guardian. He does much to give the stock part some life.

With 600 boys living a cloistered life in a stuffy school and a South Seas beauty running around in rather casual attire the situations are completely predictable.

Miss Kwan's observations on the sexual mores of her own people and the rather strange ways in which boys become men in this British institution take this -- unlike the "Tammy" and "Gidget" films -- out of the category of kids' pictures.

There is a little humor in the scenes in which the school's athletic events are turned into a shambles by this girl who can out run and out jump everyone on the campus. But it's only a little and the bulk of the film remains dull and uninspired.