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.