Our first trip to Hawaii was a TV broadcast assignment. Peg and I were shooting a documentary on the first hockey game ever in Hawaii. ESPN was supposed to cover the production, but opted out. We were next in line thanks to local producer Kathy Rozzini. We had a very nice room on Waikiki Beach with a view and a bowl of fruit. Our first stop, just a block away, was to buy Hawaiian shirts. We videotaped everything from plyers on the beach at Waikiki wearing their hockey uniforms with shorts, a Luau to a nightclub outing and then the game. One evening we took a short break for a couple drinks and a wade in the surf. The production aired on Hockey Night in Canada. Kathy was a treat to work with.
Our second and third time to Hawaii was to stay with friends at their vacation home on the Big Island. Each day began and ended sitting on the lanai and enjoying the view. Kona was on the opposite side of the island. We had no work obligations this time and we saw most of the sights as we traveled around the island (several times). The weather was perfect as were our friends. Most evenings ended with a rousing game of Mexican Trains (dominoes).
The fourth trip to Hawaii was all mental. Only my mind traveled. I was captured by the film “Running for Grace.” The story involved the growing of coffee on the Kona side of the Big Island (Hawaii) in the 1920s. “Doc” (Matt Dillon) is hired to provide medical care to the workers and the plantation owner and his family. He is unhappy about his accommodations, but agrees to stay until a ship comes and takes him away. He befriends young Jo (Cole Takiue) whose mother has died. Most of the workers are Japanese and refuse to take in the boy because he is of mixed-blood. Doc quickly learns that young Jo is smart and loves to run. Jo runs errands, he even races a local horse drawn wagon and wins.
Watch the trailer – imdb.com/video/vi2664676121
Grace (Olivia Ritchie), the daughter of the plantation owner likes Jo and Jo likes her. Over the years their feelings grew despite her father (Nick Boraine) and grandmother (Juliet Mills). This is the second time this year that I have been surprised by a film shot in Hawaii. Dann Seke, who played the lead in the film “The Landline Detective” was also in “Running for Grace.” Great stories and productions coming from Hawaii . . . nice surprises . . . both of them.
Check out The Landline Detective review – thesubtimes.com/2021/02/26/the-landline-detective-film-review/
Doc stays on the plantation with teen Jo (Ryan Potter). Everything goes well except a new doctor (Jim Caviezel) comes to the island with his brand new red automobile. They disagree on medicine, patients, and procedures.
Problems and attitudes create competition and disagreements. Rifts grow between almost everyone. Grace’s father wants her to marry the new doctor. Jo can’t compete with a modern, “city slicker” doctor and he can’t run faster than the car. Jo and Doc are solid and depend on each other, but even they are being pulled apart. What’s left is murder, forced marriage, and a race against the evils of the world. Yes . . . it’s just like real life. It was fun seeing Juliet Mills as an evil grandmother and finding Dann Seki again. I love this movie. I think you will, too.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.