Henry, the pagan son of a white father and native mother, has inherited land and a store, but he prefers the simple life. When he falls in love with a native girl, her guardian, who is ... See full summary »
Henry, the pagan son of a white father and native mother, has inherited land and a store, but he prefers the simple life. When he falls in love with a native girl, her guardian, who is trying to bring her up as a 'proper' Christian, but who also lusts after her himself, plots to keep them apart. Written by
Evidence that MGM was slightly behind the times...
Although MGM was probably the biggest and most prestigious studio in Hollywood, it was slower transitioning to sound than most of the other studios. This is because the studio chief, Louis B. Meyer, thought that sound was a passing fad and discouraged his filmmakers from using sound. However, eventually MGM got on the bandwagon. So, while other American film companies were making talking pictures in 1929, MGM was still making silents--albeit one with SHORT songs included along with the musical track throughout the film. This is the case with "The Pagan"--a decent silent with a few sound additions. Part of the reason for not using more sound was not just because of Meyer but because of the practicalities of filming in Tahiti. It wasn't like boom mikes and the like were readily available there!
"The Pagan" is a film with a very, very simple plot. In fact, the star of the film seems to be the locale--it certainly is not the rather scant plot. The movie is about a local man (Ramon Novarro) and his love for the ward of a nasty, nasty man (Donald Crisp). The problem is that the nasty guy HATES natives--and this is odd since he is a 'half-breed' as the film calls him. He also hates Novarro's character because of the ward--a native that BOTH men want. What will happen? See the film.
Overall, this is an incredibly beautiful and dated film. Terms like 'half-breed', 'half-caste' and 'pagan' aren't exactly nice when used today--and show a certain patronizing view of natives. Still, if you can look past this and the story (highly reminiscent of "Rain"), then it's worth seeing.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?