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Paradise, Hawaiian Style



Shooting began August 7, 1965

Sneak previewed in Memphis on June 9, 1966

Opened in New York City on June 15, 1966

Opened nationally on July 6, 1966 

Character:  Greg "Rick" Richards

Producer: Hal B. Wallis

Director: D. Michael Moore



Greg "Rick" Richards is a helicopter pilot who starts a charter service with his friend Danny. Rick has coaxed three beautiful women employed at various tourist-related businesses around the Islands to steer customers to their helicopter service. Covering the office is beautiful Judy Hudson, whom Rick and Danny call "Friday." Danny fears that Rick will not be able to resist Judy so he tells the island Romeo that the girl "Friday" is married. A misunderstanding involving a forced helicopter landing results in Rick having his license temporarily suspended. Under orders from the Federal Aviation Agency not to fly, Rick risks his license to rescue Danny and his daughter from a deserted island. The FAA understands the mitigating circumstances surrounding Rick's decision and assures him he will be able to fly again. In the meantime, Rick discovers that Judy is not married and the tow embark on a romance.



"Paradise, Hawaiian Style"- Sung over the opening credits.

"Queenie Wahini's Papaya"-Sung at Danny Kohana's house in duet with Donna Butterworth.

"Scratch My Back, (Then I'll Scratch Yours)"-Sung at the Piki NIki Lounge at the Hanalei Plantation in duet with Marianna Hill.

"Drums of the Island"-Sung on a canoe trip with Pua and in a Hawaiian village. Native voices were used on the soundtrack. The song was also sung at the end of the film at the Polynesian Welcoming Festival just after singing "This Is My Heaven."

"A Dog's Life"-Sung in a helicopter with Mrs. Barrington's dogs.

"Datin'"-Sung in duet with Donna Butterworth in a helicopter.

"House of Sand"-Sung on the beach just after flying to Kauai with Donna Butterworth.

"Stop Where You Are"-Sung at the Polynesian Welcoming Festival.

"This Is My Heaven"-Sung at the Polynesian Welcoming Festival. "Drums of the Island" immediately followed.

"Sand Castles" was deleted from the film. Donna Butterworth had a solo effort with "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home?"



Greg (Rick) Richards - Elvis Presley

Judy Hudson (Friday) - Suzanna Leigh

Danny Kohana - James Shigeta

Jan Kohana - Donna Butterworth

Lani Kaimana - Marianna Hill

Pua - Irene Tsu

Lehua Kawena - Linda Wong

Joanna - Julie Parrish

Betty Kohana - Jan Shepard

Donald Belden - John Doucette

Mr. Cubberson - Grady Sutton

Andy Lowell - Don Coller

Mrs. Daisy Barrington - Doris Packer

Moki Kaimana - Philip Ahn

Mrs. Belden - Mary Treen

Peggy Holdren - Gigi Verone

Plain Girl - Shanon Hale

First Girl - Anne Morell

Next Girl - China Lee

Bit Girl - Miko Mayama

Dancer - Edy Williams

Chef - Leon Lontoc

Native Dancer - Lloyd Kino

Lehua's Escort - Robert Ito

Pua's Escort - Makee K. Blaisdell

Johanna's Escort - Jeff Brown

Customer - Jerry James

Makeup Man - William Core

Mailman - Tiki Santos

Bandleader - Ralph Hanalei

Kohana  Child - Jackie Jody Brown

Kohana Child - James Miller

Kohana Child - Lukas T. Shimatsu

Kohana Child - Randy Richard Stone

Stewardess - Arlene Charles

Ruggles, the Chauffeur - Vincent Edward Eder

Nurse - Deanna Lund

Customer - Walter Davis

Bit Man - Hubie Kerns

Bit Man - Max Powers 

Bit Man - John Benson

Rusty, the Man Who Fights with Elvis - Red West


Production Notes:

Elvis's first scene filmed was at Hanauma Bay where he is in the helicopter rescue scene of James Shigeta and Donna Butterworth.

During filming  in Hawaii, Elvis stayed at the Ilikai Hotel (Suite 2225).

A Bell 47-J-2 helicopter was shipped to Hawaii in four sections aboard a United Airlines cargo plane, to be reassembled upon arrival for use in the film.

Polynesian Paradise was the film's first announced title (November 1965). Before filming, the title was changed to Hawaiian Paradise. Hawaiian Paradise became Paradise, Hawaiian Style in September 1965. It's also been reported that Polynesian Holiday was once considered for the title.

Paradise, Hawaiian Style was filmed on location in Honolulu, Kauai, (Hanalei Plantation Resort), Maui (Maui Sheraton Hotel), and the Kona Coast, as well as the Paramount Studios in Hollywood and the Torrance, California, Airport.

For the "Drums of the Islands" production number, producer Hal Wallis decided to use a war canoe, and the only one available on the islands was Samoan. Because "Drums of the Islands" was based on a Tongan chant and Tongan rowers were used for the scene, the Samoans took offense and several fights erupted between the two factions.

Seventeen Magazine chose Paradise, Hawaiian Style as its "Picture of the month" in June 1966. 

For the year 1966, Paradise, Hawaiian Style was ranked #40 in the list of top-grossing films . It took in receipts of $2.5 million.

A short film was shot about the making of Paradise, Hawaiian Style which featured the beautiful scenery of the Hawaiian islands, and a musical production. It was released in May 1966 as a promotional tool for the film, and was made available to schools, church groups, TV stations, and travel agencies.


D. Kohana's Island Charter Service was the charter airline owned by Danny Kohana. The company's motto was "We Fly You Anywhere".

Rick Richards was a commercial airline pilot before being fired from his job.

Piki Niki lounge is where Lani sang. The Piki Niki was located on the Hanalei Plantation. The cable car that took people downhill from the pool to the lounge was nicknamed "Charlie".

Danrick Airways was the helicopter and charter service formed by Rick and Danny Kohana. Their motto was "We Show You the Islands Like Nobody Can." The line "Come Fly with Us" was used in newspaper advertisements.

While working as a secretary for Danrick Airways, Judy used the pseudonym Judy Hudson. Danny told Rick that Judy was married and her husband, Roy, was in the Navy. In actuality, Judy was single. Danny was trying to keep Rick and Judy from becoming romantically involved. Rick's nickname for Judy was "Friday."

Moonlight Beach was Rick and Lani's favorite romantic site. It was at Moonlight Beach that Lani playfully threw away the keys to Rick's helicopter, stranding Rick, Lani, and Jan.

The registration number for Danny Kohana's helicopter was N5332B and Rick's was N73202.


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