His Majesty O'Keefe (1954)
Sacred stone money of the Pacific Island of Yap, gold coins
The 1954 Warner Brothers film "His Majesty O'Keefe" is about an Irish-American adventurer
David O'Keefe, who lands in the South Pacific Island of Yap in 1870, sets up a company to employ
the residents to harvest coconuts and produce copra (coconut oil), and later becomes a "king" of the island.
copper coins from Canada, Japan, and Russia used as props for gold coins.
Captain David O'Keefe loses his ship to a mutiny and is washed ashore on the Island of Yap.
Federated States of Micronesia.
2. O'Keefe arrives in Yap
He is rescued by natives and taken to Alfred Tetins, a German trader who has lived on the island
for 20 years.
produce copra sand coconut oil, which had many uses in the days before synthetic oils.
3. O'Keefe with coconut
O'Keefe proposes hiring the natives to process coconuts but Tetins informs him that the natives
have everything they need and can not be paid or forced to work.
O'Keefe enters a duel against a native chief Boogulroo and impresses the natives by beating him.
4. Yap sacred stone
These stones are quarried elsewhere and brought to the island.
They are sometimes referred to as "stone money", but they are not moved around as a
medium of exchange.
5. O'Keefe offers a cookoo clock
The natives are not interested in "high tech".
6. Canoes arrive with stones
O'Keefe watches the natives unload the stones and realizes their worth.
the center of the copra trade.
7. O'Keefe at Tetins' house
O'Keefe has done some odd jobs for Tetins' and receives five gold coins, four of which are on the table.
8. Money on the table
The coins on the table are supposed to be gold coins but they appear to be copper coins used as props.
The top right coin appears to be a Japan 2 sen, bronze, 31.8mm, issued 1873 to 1892.
The bottom two coins appear to be Bank of Upper Canada tokens, copper, 33.4mm, issued 1850 to 1857.
9. Kakofel wearing her coin
O'Keefe arrives in busy Hong Kong.
10. Hong Kong street
O'Keefe tries to recruit investors for his scheme.
11. O'Keefe shows the money
The bankers are not interested in loaning him a large amount of money for such a speculative venture.
offers to invest in the scheme.
12. O'Keefe makes deal with Dr. Tang
Dr. Tang loans O'Keefe a Chinese ship and helps to recruit a crew.
Tang's assistant, Mr. Chou, accompanies the crew.
13. O'Keefe's ship the Kathleen
The ship had belonged to a famous pirate who gave it it's name.
The ship sails towards Yap but stops on an unknown island.
14. O'Keefe arrives on island
O'Keefe and Chou go ashore and meet some residents.
They give the native chief a gift.
15. Gift for island chief
The natives are not friendly and chase the men back to their ship.
16. Friedlander's office on Palau
O'Keefe quickly becomes friends with Dalabo, Friedlander's daughter.
17. Dalabo and O'Keefe
While wandering around the island O'Keefe makes a discovery.
18. The source of the sacred stones
O'Keefe and Dalabo watch the Yap men mine the stones and grind them to size.
19. Making money
O'Keefe brings some gunpowder to blast part of the quarry and shows the men how to use metal tools
to produce more stones.
20. O'Keefe arrives with the new stones
O'Keefe now has something that the natives will work for, he gets a load of coconut copra,
takes the load and Dalabo to Hong Kong where he sells the copra and marries Dalabo.
They return to the island of Yap, now wealthy.
Kakofel, realizing that her relationship with O'Keefe is over gives her coin necklace to Dalabo.
21. Kakofel gives coin necklace to Dalabo
Bully Hayes is the captain of a pirate ship and his crew land on the island to kidnap natives to be sold
elsewhere as slaves. O'Keefe organizes his Chinese crew and some natives to fight and overcome
22. Bully Hayes' pirates fight islanders
In return for his services in leading the fight against the pirates, the islanders make O'Keefe
an honorary "king".
23. His Majesty O'Keefe as king
A coronation ceremony is held.
24. Coronation ceremony
Fatumak heads the pro-O'Keefe group and O'Keefe's old enemy Boogulroo heads a group which
does not want to use the new stones which they believe have less power than stones produced
the traditional way.
to stage a takeover of the island.
25. O'Keefe confronts Germans
O'Keefe brings the two groups together to settle things.
26. O'Keefe meets Germans to settle dispute
O'Keefe sends Mr. Chou to destroy the new stones which are the cause of the conflict.
27. Blowing up the new stone money
O'Keefe's island wealth is also destroyed in the blast but the discord is removed and the Germans,
realizing that there is nothing for them, leave the island.
28. O'Keefe and Dalabo
Burt Lancaster as Capt. David O'Keefe
Joan Rice as Dalabo
Tessa Prendergast as Kakofel
Abraham Sofaer as Fatumak (Medicine Man)
Archie Savage as Boogulroo (Native chief)
Philip Ahn as Sien Tang (Hong Kong dentist)
Andre Morell as Alfred Tetins
Writers: Borden Chase, James Hill, Lawrence Klingman, Gerald Green