skip navigation
Damien

Damien(1950)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:
Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)

NOTES

powered by AFI

The credits for this film were taken from a continuity transcribed from a print at the Bishop Museum Archives in Honolulu, Hawaii. The cast end credits are presented in a different order than the opening cast credits in the film. The picture opens with the following written acknowledgment: "People of all races and creeds in Hawaii had a part in telling this story. To them the Producers express their gratitude, and especially to the patients and staffs of Hale Mohalu and Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai." Leprosy, or Hansen's disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae that affects the skin and superficial nerves. It is found mainly, but not excusively, in tropical regions. The disease produces numerous skin and nerve lesions, which, if left untreated, enlarge and May result in severe disfigurement.
       Belgian-born Father Damien (Joseph Damien de Veuster 1840-1888), was a Roman Catholic priest who served as a missionary at the Kalaupapa Leper Colony on Molokai, HI. Suffering from leprosy himself, Father Damien succumbed to the disease after spending sixteen years among the outcasts. According to materials contained in the Bishop Museum Archives, the film was copyrighted and released in 1950, but additional footage was shot and added in 1952. According to materials contained in the copyright files, the story was adapted from a play by screenwriter John Kneubuhl produced by Theatre Hawaii Ltd. Onscreen credits do not list the play, and no other source mentions it as a possible source, however. Modern sources note that the film was shot on location on Oahu and at the Kalaupapa settlement on Molokai. The picture was originally filmed on 16mm stock and later blown up to 35 mm. In February 1978, Hawaiian Public Television broadcast a television program about the missionary, titled Damien and starring Terence Knapp and produced and directed by Nino Martin. The original chapel and the house in which Father Damien lived was restored in the early 1990s.