Donovan's Reef | Chicago Reader

Donovan's Reef

John Ford's vision of America became increasingly bitter through the 60s, from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance to Seven Women. This 1963 comedy seems like a desperate bit of escapism: three old war buddies (John Wayne, Lee Marvin, and Jack Warden) turn their backs on the U.S. and retire to a Pacific atoll, where they live in innocent bliss until Wayne's prim daughter (Elizabeth Allen) comes for a visit. A rowdy, cheerful film on the surface, it has a disturbingly sour undertone supplied by Ford's realization that this paradise cannot be, and never was. 109 min.



  • John Ford


  • John Wayne
  • Lee Marvin
  • Elizabeth Allen
  • Jack Warden
  • Cesar Romero
  • Dorothy Lamour
  • Marcel Dallio
  • Mike Mazurki
  • Jacqueline Malouf
  • Cherylene Lee
  • Tim Stafford
  • Edgar Buchanan
  • John Fong
  • Yvonne Peattie
  • Ralph Volke


  • Edmund Beloin
  • James Edward Grant
  • James Michener
  • Frank Nugent


  • John Ford

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