IMDb > Nanook of the North (1922)
Nanook of the North
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Nanook of the North (1922) More at IMDbPro »

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7.7/10   7,818 votes »
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Release Date:
11 June 1922 (USA) See more »
A story of life and love in the actual Arctic. See more »
In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Tehnically Remarkable for 1922 See more (34 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Berry Kroeger ... Narrator (1939 re-release) (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert J. Flaherty 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Frances H. Flaherty  idea (uncredited)
Robert J. Flaherty  uncredited

Produced by
Robert J. Flaherty .... producer
John Révillon .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Rudolf Schramm (1947)
Stanley Silverman (1976)
Cinematography by
Robert J. Flaherty (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Herbert Edwards (1947 version)
Robert J. Flaherty (uncredited)
Charles Gelb (uncredited)
Sound Department
Blachley .... sound (1976 version)
Music Department
Miriam Arsham .... music editor (1976 version)
Richard Fitz .... assisting artist: percussion (1976 version)
Ida Kafavian .... violin (1976 version)
Buell Neidlinger .... assisting artist: double bass (1976 version)
Daniel Moses Schreier .... assistant: Mr. Silverman's (1976 version)
Peter Serkin .... piano (1976 version)
Fred Sherry .... musician: cello (1976 version)
Richard Stoltzman .... clarinet (1976 version)
Tashi .... played by (1976 version)
Other crew
Willard Van Dyke .... supervisor: International Film Seminars (1976 version)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
78 min | 65 min (TCM print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:G | Canada:G (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Québec) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Germany:6 | Portugal:M/6 (DVD rating) | Portugal:17 (original rating) | Spain:T | UK:U (re-release) (1947) | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

There are claims that all of the scenes are staged, and also that the woman who plays Nanook's wife was not his actual wife.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Unnatural (2015)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Tehnically Remarkable for 1922, 3 January 2006
Author: evanston_dad from United States

This is a fascinating documentary from Robert Flaherty, a very prolific director of early documentaries. He follows the adventures of the Eskimo Nanook, and we get to see what life was like for the Eskimo in the early 20th Century as we watch Nanook with his family, hunting for food, and building igloos.

This is really amazing stuff for 1922. It feels like it could have been made long after that. That's probably due to the fact that it relies on real settings and real people. It's not bound by the restrictions of manufactured sets, costumes, etc. of the period. However, though it looks utterly authentic, don't be fooled into thinking that Flaherty gives us a purely realistic snapshot of Eskimo life. He planted the early seeds of reality t.v. with this film, making careful use of editing to create a narrative with all of the melodramatic trappings of any studio picture. Though it's a fascinating film, it's also a reminder that documentary film is just as manipulative as fiction, and that Michael Moore wasn't the first to corner the market on presenting fiction as fact.

Grade: A

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