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Nate and Hayes / Savage Islands
Directed by Ferdinand Fairfax
Produced by Lloyd Phillips, Rob Whitehouse
Written by John Hughes, David Odell
Starring Tommy Lee Jones
Michael O'Keefe
Jenny Seagrove
Max Phipps
Grant Tilly
Bruce Allpress
Music by Trevor Jones
Cinematography Tony Imi
Editing by John Shirley
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) 1983
Running time 96 Minutes

Nate and Hayes, also known as Savage Islands (UK title), is a 1983 swashbuckling adventure film set in the South Pacific in the late 19th century. Directed by Ferdinand Fairfax and starring Tommy Lee Jones, Michael O'Keefe and Jenny Seagrove, Nate and Hayes was a flop at the box office. This contributed to the long held belief in Hollywood that pirate swashbucklers were box office poison, a belief not laid to rest until the 2003 release of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

A small but very loyal fanbase has given the film something of a cult following, seemingly contributing to the release of the film on Region 1 and Region 2 DVD, in June and November 2006 respectively.

Filmed on location in Fiji and New Zealand, the film tells the story of missionary Nathaniel Williamsen (O'Keefe), taken to an island mission with his fiancee Sophie (Seagrove). Their ship, the Rona, is captained by the roguish Bully Hayes (Jones), who also takes a liking to Sophie. When Sophie is kidnapped by slave trader Ben Pease (Max Phipps) "Nate" teams with Hayes in order to find her. The fairly thin plot is essentially a set up for a rousing series of Indiana Jones style action set pieces, including a sequence on a suspension bridge which greatly resembles the climax of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, though it should be noted that Nate and Hayes was released a year earlier. It was one of many early 1980s films designed to capitalize on the popularity of Lucas and Spielberg's hero.


1984 VHS Tagline: He's a scoundrel... A hero... A lover of danger and the last of the adventurers... This is the story of Bully Hayes!

2006 DVD Tagline: Partners in Piracy. Rivals in Romance. Allies in Adventure.

Bully Hayes

  • Tommy Lee Jones' character was in fact based on a real life pirate. Bully Hayes was active in the South Pacific during the mid 19th century, until his murder in 1878.

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