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White Shadows in the South Seas (1928)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 10 November 1928 (USA)
An alcoholic doctor on a Polynesian island, disgusted by white exploitation of the natives, finds himself marooned on a pristinely beautiful island.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(famous novel), (compiled by) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Matthew Lloyd
...
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Storyline

Matthew Lloyd has drifted away from a respectable career as a physician, and lives a mediocre existence in a Polynesian island. There, pearl-trader Sebastian and his associates recklessly exploit the natives working for them as divers. After witnessing the appalling consequences of "civilization" on the local population, Matthew vehemently condemns Sebastian's greed and ruthlessness. Sebastian, however, will not shy away from any means to crush opposition to his activities. Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@research.nokia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

native | greed | doctor | death | shipwreck | See All (39) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bele sence  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System) (talking sequences, music and sound effects)|

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was preceded by an exotic prologue "The Tropics" which starred Kenneth Olds, the most famous of all male Hawaiian dancers, and the Brox Sisters from the Ziegfeld Follies. It featured Samoan chieftains, 100 native dancers and instrumentalists of the South Seas Isles who were brought to Hollywood especially for the presentation, and a "Gigantaphone", the largest Victrola in the world. "The Tropics" ran nightly for the duration of the film's engagement. See more »

Goofs

The drowned young man's left arm moves by itself. See more »

Quotes

TItle Card: [Last lines] White Shadows... White Shadows...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Settling the Score (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Flower of Love
(1928) (uncredited)
Music by William Axt and David Mendoza
Lyrics by Dave Dreyer and Herman Ruby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thoughtful Silence
12 February 2005 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

Spreading from island to island, the WHITE SHADOWS IN THE SOUTH SEAS corrupt every culture they encounter.

This unfortunately obscure film, produced by MGM right at the cusp when the Silent Era was giving way to Sound, is a fascinating look at the vanishing way of life to be found in the South Pacific Islands. Its beautiful, vivid photography justly won the Oscar for Best Cinematography.

This 'Camera Record' was directed by W.S. Van Dyke, the Studio's on-location master. The film's prologue states "Produced and photographed on the natural locations and with the ancient native tribes of the Marquesas Islands in the South Seas." The footage depicting the pearl divers and the coconut tree climbers is particularly noteworthy.

Monte Blue gives a very fine performance as a derelict doctor who finds himself acclaimed as a white god on an island of gentle, friendly natives. His despair at the arrival of brutish Caucasian traders in this idyllic paradise is riveting. Mexican actress Raquel Torres, in her film debut, is poignant as the island maiden who captures Blue's heart.


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