Up 1,199 this week

Nanook of the North (1922)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  11 June 1922 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 7,013 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 40 critic

In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuit living in the Arctic Circle.


0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a classy 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 13 Jul 2011
a list of 24 titles
created 31 Mar 2013
a list of 24 titles
created 21 Oct 2013
a list of 24 titles
created 24 Feb 2014
a list of 49 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Nanook of the North (1922)

Nanook of the North (1922) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Nanook of the North.

User Polls

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Man of Aran (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Stars: Colman 'Tiger' King, Maggie Dirrane, Michael Dirrane
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov
Stars: Mikhail Kaufman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The idyllic life of a young Cajun boy and his pet raccoon is disrupted when the tranquility of the bayou is broken by an oil well drilling near his home.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Stars: Joseph Boudreaux, Lionel Le Blanc, E. Bienvenu
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller
Greed (1924)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Gibson Gowland, Zasu Pitts, Jean Hersholt
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, Spottiswoode Aitken
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut
Documentary | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern Europe.

Director: Benjamin Christensen
Stars: Benjamin Christensen, Elisabeth Christensen, Maren Pedersen
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

It's New Year's Eve. Three drunkards evoke a legend. The legend tells that the last person to die in a year, if he is a great sinner, will have to drive during the whole year the Phantom ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

One of the first feminist movies, The Smiling Madame Beudet is the story of an intelligent woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband is used to playing a stupid practical joke in ... See full summary »

Director: Germaine Dulac
Stars: Germaine Dermoz, Alexandre Arquillière, Jean d'Yd


Complete credited cast:
Allakariallak ...
Nanook (as Nanook)
Nyla ...
Herself - Nanook's Wife - the Smiling One
Allee ...
Himself - Nanook's Son
Cunayou ...
Herself - Nanook's Wife
Allegoo ...
Himself - Nanook's Son
Camock ...
Himself - Nanook's Cat


Documents one year in the life of Nanook, an Eskimo (Inuit), and his family. Describes the trading, hunting, fishing and migrations of a group barely touched by industrial technology. Nanook of the North was widely shown and praised as the first full-length, anthropological documentary in cinematographic history. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

winter | inuit | canada | arctic | walrus | See All (21) »


The truest and most human story of the Great White Snows. See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 June 1922 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nanuk der Eskimo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$53,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The claim that Allakariallak died of starvation in 1922, months after the film was completed, is untrue; he did not starve but likely succumbed to tuberculosis. See more »


Referenced in Arizona Dream (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Powerful and memorable even after 80 years!
19 March 2002 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

Years ago, in high school, I had to sit through a creaky, dim and dirty, silent black and white documentary about some Eskimo. I remember nothing of the film except that I didn't like it. Today, I had the opportunity to see a recently restored and nicely scored re-release of that film: Nanook of the North. After all the National Geographic, Nova, PBS and Discovery Channel documentaries I have seen over the years chronicling the lives of aboriginal bands of people, (aboriginal people often wearing Coca-Cola T-shirts and baseball caps), this classic 1922 epic is the best I've ever seen showing a happy people working desperately to survive in an incomprehensibly harsh environment. It is quite a compliment to the film and its subject that it retains so much power almost 80 years after it was created. The film simply documents a small group of Inuit and their children in northeast Canada as they struggle to live from day to day. That these people survive at all, let alone remain a seemingly happy, life-loving team in such a place is mind-boggling. So many of the brutally realistic scenes in this wonderful film remind me of how sterilized many contemporary documentaries have become. We see the necessary brutality of finding, stalking and killing your food. Then slicing up your kill right there on the ice and eating it where it died. We witness Nanook harpooning and then `reeling in' a walrus, catching fish with no hook and no real bait and somehow knowing where to dig a tiny hole in the ice. Then, through that tiny hole, he spears and battles to bring in a seal. And he succeeds. But more than the environment and more than the struggle, what keeps us watching this film is character. Nanook is the chief of the small tribe and the father in the main family that is followed. He is smart, curious, inventive, determined and, at the core, a happy, gregarious character that we learn to laugh with, root for and celebrate with as he keeps his family fed. His children are an absolute delight, playful and endearing, seemingly oblivious to the awful world in which they live. The film seems to have no artifice at all and everything seems to be a regular part of their life with little attention paid to the camera. If you are a lover of the documentary form, you cannot miss this re-release. It appears to have been struck from a near pristine negative and restored to its original length of somewhere over 65 minutes. The pleasant score is not too obtrusive and sounds as though it may be a reconstruction of the score composed for the theatrical re-release of the film in 1939, but the credits aren't completely clear on that. See this film.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Documentary or Fiction bornil
Reaction at time of release xMrs_Hoppusx
Where I can find version with original soundtrack? Od1n
Discuss Nanook of the North (1922) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page