His Majesty O'Keefe records
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His Majesty O'Keefe records

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Warner Bros.
Title: His Majesty O'Keefe records
Dates: 1954
Extent: 0.2 cubic feet (3 folders)
Identification: MS 0598

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1954, Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc. premiered their movie, His Majesty O'Keefe, in Savannah, Georgia. The movie is based on the life of Daniel Dean O'Keefe (1832-1901). Born in Middletown, Ireland, O'Keefe moved to Savannah in 1856. In 1869, he married Catherine M. Masters (d. ca. 1928). He left Savannah in 1872 as a mate on a ship bound for China. The ship was wrecked in a typhoon, but O'Keefe survived, washing ashore Yap Island in Micronesia. He established himself as a business man on the island, becoming the primary trader of "copra" (the dried meat of a coconut) in exchange for "rai," large stone wheels cut from limestone on the island of Palau. While on the island, O'Keefe purportedly married the king's daughter and became known as "His Majesty O'Keefe." He was lost at sea during a typhoon in 1901 while on a return trip from Hong Kong. He was survived by his Yapese wife and children, as well as his wife and daughter in Savannah. In 1950, a fictionalized biography, His majesty O'Keefe, by Lawrence Klingman and Gerald Green, was published by Charles Scribner's Sons. The subsequent movie starred Burt Lancaster and Joan Rice.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of a scenario script, movie stills, publicity items, and news releases for the Savannah premiere of Warner Brothers, Inc.'s His Majesty O'Keefe in 1954. Many of the stills are of Burt Lancaster and Joan Rice, the movie's stars. Also included are four photographs of the dedication of a tree in Seamen's Lot, laurel Grove Cemetery, by the Propellor Club of Savannah in January, 1954, dedicated to Daniel Dean O'Keefe.

Index Terms

Film stills.
Lancaster, Burt, 1913-1994.
Motion pictures.
O'Keefe, Daniel Dean, 1832-1901.
Rice, Joan, 1930-1997.
Warner Bros.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from creator.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], His Majesty O'Keefe records, MS 598, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc., 1954.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Scenario of His Majesty O'Keefe


2Movie stills from His Majesty O'Keefe ( 60.0 items. )


3Publicity, news releases, etc. for His Majesty O'Keefe ( 8.0 items. )
Included are four photographs of the dedication of a tree in Seamen's Lot, Laurel Grove Cemetery, by the Propellor Club of Savannah in January, 1954.