Nate and Hayes
(also known as Savage Islands
in Europe) is a Swashbuckler
adventure film from 1983.
Set in the South Pacific during the late 1800's, the film centers upon Pirate
Captain Bully Hayes, who gets caught by the authorities in the opening for dealing arms to the islanders. In prison he retells the events that lead him there; 18 months before, he transferred two missionaries, Nathaniel "Nate" Williamson and his betrothed Sophie, to the Island of Wakaya. He took a liking to Sophie and accepted her offer to become business partners.
However, after Bully's departure his archenemy Ben Pease, a "blackbirder" (slaver) who has been framing Bully for his crimes for years, attacks the island, taking its inhabitants for the slave-market and kidnapping Sophie
while he's at it. Nate teams up with Bully to get her back. While chasing Ben they run into Count Heinrich von Rittenberg, representative of Imperial Germany
, who plans to start coal mines and anchoring points for the Empire with the help of Ben Pease's "merchandise."
The film stars Tommy Lee Jones
as Bully Hayes and it was partially written by John Hughes
Just like most other pirate films in the two or three decades before Pirates of the Caribbean
, Nate and Hayes
bombed and contributed to the belief that pirates were box office poison.
This film contains the examples of:
- Arms Dealer: Bully is working as one in the opening of the film.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
- Artificial Limbs: One of the Bully's crew has a peg-leg made of bones.
- Auction of Evil: A slave auction is held in Samoa.
- Bad Habits: Sophie is disguised as a nun in the end.
- Badass Preacher: Nathaniel by the end.
- Bling of War: Count von Rittenberg's outfit.
- Blood from the Mouth
- Boarding Party: Bully's crew's attack on Rittenberg's gunboat.
- California Doubling: The film was shot in New Zealand and Fiji.
- Calling Card: Ben leaves a blackbird sign on the foreheads of his victims to make sure that Bully (as it's really his sign) takes the all blame.
- Cannibal Tribe: King Oatapi's people on the island of Ponape.
- Cool Ship: Count von Rittenberg's small steam powered gunboat.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ben towards von Rittenberg when they are teamed up in the latter half of the film.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Early on Bully claims that even if he is a pirate, he still has morals and standards.
- Eyepatch of Power: One of von Rittenberg's men has it.
- Far Side Island: After setting off from Wakaya, Nate is stuck on one before Bully and his crew rescue him.
- Frameup: Ben has framed Bully for all his crimes.
- Graceful Loser: Count von Rittenberg.
- Groin Attack: The reason why Ben hates Bully so much is because he got shot in the balls when they had a fight over a woman.
- Guns Akimbo: Sophie is using them at the end.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Fate of the German gunboat.
- How We Got Here
- Human Sacrifice: Cannibals of Ponape attempt to use Sophie as one.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Plenty of deaths.
- Improvised Weapon: During the gunboat raid, everyone else is Flynning but Sophie fights with a life belt.
- Insistent Terminology
- Lovable Rogue: Bully.
- Love Triangle: A non-contentious one among Sophie, Nate, and Bully, resolved fairly early and not causing any open conflict.
- Man in White: The uniforms of the imperial Germans. Bully's outfit for the latter half o the film.
- The Missionary: Nate and his wife-to-be Sophie.
- Moral Dissonance: After saving Sophie, Nathaniel doesn't give a thought about the Wakayans that were sold to slavery in Samoa.
- Name and Name
- Nice Hat: Both Bully's and Ben's crew has these.
- No Peripheral Vision
- Not-So-Safe Harbor: Samoa.
- Number Two: Mr. Blake, Bully Hayes' First Mate.
- Off with His Head!: Ben and Count von Rittenberg use barrelfuls of severed heads as merchandise with King Oatapi.
- Parental Incest: Ben claims that King Oatopi does this with his offspring.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: One of Ben's many methods of operation is attacking small villages and enslaving their inhabitants.
- Rope Bridge: Sequence suspiciously similar to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom happens here, though Nate and Hayes was released a year earlier than Temple.
- Say My Name: Nathaniel yells out Bully's name after the attack on Wakaya.
- Sex Tourism: When our heroes reach Samoa, most of Bully's crew hit the brothel.
- Shirtless Scene
- Shoot the Hostage: When Sophie takes one of Ben's men hostage and threatens to kill him. Ben simply kills the man.
- Super Window Jump
- Sword Cane: Fong's weapon of choice.
- Sword Sparks
- Took a Level in Badass: Nate and Sophie by the end.
- Violent Glaswegian: Ben's crew has one.
- The Von Trope Family: Count Von Rittenberg.
- Wedding Smashers: Ben and his band of slavers attack Wakaya on the day of Nathaniel's and Sophie's wedding.
- You No Take Candle: The islanders of Wakaya and cannibals of Ponape talk like this.