My Cult Movie: I’d Rather Be In Tahiti…

*contains spoilers

Name: Graham
Age: 67
Occupation: Retired Public Servant
Favorite Movie: Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969)
Starring: Christopher Plummer, Robert Shaw, Nigel Davenport and Leonard Whiting
First Saw It: In 1976 at the Schonell Theatre at the University of Queensland

The Royal Hunt of the Sun DVD cover

Plot: Based on the play by Peter Shaffer. Spanish conquistador Pizarro goes to Peru to conquer the Incas and convert them to Christianity and capture an enormous cache of gold. He captures the Inca leader and promises to free him for the gold. But they become friends…

Graham says: It tells of two societies and cultures and two religions, both of which are sunk in their delusions of God, just like the world is today, although at the end of the movie they’re a bit wiser. Essentially both fervently believe in religion… and it’s about the madness of believing in something which doesn’t exist… Pizarro doesn’t believe in Christianity, he’s seen the dark side of humanity, but he can’t say that overtly or it’s instant death.

Christopher Plummer
in Royal Hunt

If I opened a school which worshipped a pile of manure, people would believe – people believe anything… I would like Royal Hunt of the Sun shown in all schools…. We’ve got to get rid of religion before it gets rid of us. I’ve seen this film two dozen times at least and Plummer (as the Inca leader) is the best in it – he should have got an Oscar! Shaw (as Pizarro) is good, they’re all good. It wasn’t successful like the Marx Brothers Duck Soup because people weren’t ready for the message at the time… I’d rather be in Tahiti 300 years before the Christians turn up. There was a real Garden of Eden. It’s what mankind could be.

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