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ISLAND HISTORY: ‘Paradise, Hawaiian Style’ was filmed on Kauai

The movie “Paradise, Hawaiian Style,” starring Elvis Presley (1935-77), was filmed during 1965 in Los Angeles and in Hawai‘i, with several scenes shot on Kaua‘i featuring the Coco Palms and the Hanalei Plantation hotels.

Co-starring with Elvis was Honolulu-born actor James Shigeta (1929-2014), who is also particularly known for his roles in “Flower Drum Song” and “Bridge to the Sun.”

Among the movie’s other actors and actresses was child actress and singer Donna Butterworth (1956-2018), who played the part of James Shigeta’s daughter in the movie, and sang three songs, one a duet with Elvis.

Although born in Philadelphia, Donna Butterworth moved to Hawai‘i with her parents when she was 3, was raised in Hawai‘i, and would later perform with Don Ho and on national television.

After Elvis sang one of his songs during filming, he took a reporter by surprise by admitting that he couldn’t stand the sound of his own voice.

As a matter of fact, he said, “It’s actually painful to me when I hear it all alone — I like other singers to back me up.”

On another occasion, while filming at Kane‘ohe Bay, O‘ahu, a prop man picked up a bottle with a color picture of Elvis inside that had been washed ashore.

The prop man handed the bottle to Elvis, who signed the picture, and then threw the bottle out to sea — after which a girl who’d been watching the filming from a distance, swam out to retrieve it.

Another reporter revealed that Elvis was reluctant to go out in public and cited an incident that graphically justified Elvis’s behavior.

This reporter explained that on a previous trip to Hawai‘i, a screaming crowd of Elvis’s fans took his ring, wallet, watch and shirt from him while he was walking from his hotel to his car.

Hawai‘i-born writer and author David Penhallow-Scott was the first manager of the Hanalei Plantation Hotel, and my mother-in-law, Julie Beralas, was a bartender at the hotel’s House of Happy Talk” bar.

The Coco Palms Hotel had also served as an Elvis Presley film site for “Blue Hawai‘i.”
Source: The Garden Island

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