MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 27,199 this week

Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931)

TV-PG  |   |  Drama, Romance, Adventure  |  19 March 1931 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 3,019 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 33 critic

In his final film, F.W. Murnau presents the tale of two young lovers on the idyllic island of Bora Bora in the South Pacific. Their life is shattered when the old warrior declares the girl ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(told by), (told by) (as R.J. Flaherty) , 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 30 Mar 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 12 Sep 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 08 Dec 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 37 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931)

Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931) on IMDb 7.7/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Tabu: A Story of the South Seas.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sunrise (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
Le Million (1931)
Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An impoverished painter and his rival engage in a race across Paris to recover a jacket concealing a winning lottery ticket.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Annabella, René Lefèvre, Jean-Louis Allibert
Earth (1930)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the peaceful countryside, Vassily opposes the rich kulaks over the coming of collective farming.

Director: Aleksandr Dovzhenko
Stars: Stepan Shkurat, Semyon Svashenko, Yuliya Solntseva
Vampyr (1932)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A traveler obsessed with the supernatural visits an old inn and finds evidence of vampires.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Bruno Ziener, Gertrude Welcker, Conrad Veidt
The Dark Road (1921)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Olaf Fønss, Erna Morena, Conrad Veidt
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Wilton, a hunchback, who was always scorned and ridiculed by women, returns from Java a rich man after having discovered a diamond mine. He romances Gina, who is on the rebound from a ... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Sascha Gura, John Gottowt, Paul Biensfeldt
Satanas (1920)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Fritz Kortner, Sadjah Gezza, Ernst Hofmann
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When farmer Rog dies, his son Peter stays, but Johannes can not be satisfied with such a condition (and servant Maria's love) and finds a job as old Count Rudenberg's secretary. His ... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Werner Krauss, Eugen Klöpfer, Vladimir Gajdarov
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Ernst Hofmann, Blandine Ebinger, Margit Barnay
Der Januskopf (1920)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In this uncredited and apparently lost version of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" the protagonist is Dr. Warren, who indulges his evil nature by ... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Conrad Veidt, Magnus Stifter, Margarete Schlegel
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Carl Goetz, Ilka Grüning, Eugen Klöpfer
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Matahi ...
The Boy
Anne Chevalier ...
The Girl (as Reri)
Bill Bambridge ...
The Policeman (as Jean)
Hitu ...
The Old Warrior
Edit

Storyline

In his final film, F.W. Murnau presents the tale of two young lovers on the idyllic island of Bora Bora in the South Pacific. Their life is shattered when the old warrior declares the girl to be the Chosen Maid and it is forbidden for any man to even look upon her. Refusing to accept a life apart, they run off to another island, one that is decadent and westernized. The boy works as a pearl diver but not quite understanding the concept of money, is soon in debt. When the old warrior tracks them down they again plan to run away but in a desperate attempt to pay off his debts, the boy dives for pearls in shark-infested waters. The boy is successful but fate seems determined to keep the two lovers apart. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 March 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tabu  »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(R.C.A. Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of director F.W. Murnau. See more »

Quotes

The Girl: [writing a goodbye letter] I must go. Hitu is here and waits for me. You will die if I do not obey. I will go so that you may live. The tabu is upon us. I have been so happy with you far more than I deserved. The love you have given me, I will keep to the last beat of my heart. Across the great waters, I will come to you in your dreams when the moon spreads its path on the sea. Farewell.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Une histoire seule (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturnes
(1827-46) (uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Unique and beautiful.
3 June 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

There has never been another film like "Tabu". This is a unique blending of ethnographic documentary and expressionist drama, from two directors who were masters of these forms.

The actors are real Polynesians and their ceremonies and rituals are faithfully captured, and interwoven with a tragic love story. The cinematography deservedly won an Oscar - it is truly beautiful. Murnau, away from his usual studio sets, manages to create the same sense of danger using natural light - especially moonlight - and real locations.

The performances are very strong - especially Chevalier as the girl, and the old man is as scary as Nosferatu as he haunts her dreams at night.

Sadly this was Murnau's last film - he died in a car crash just before the premiere. It is a little dramatically uneven, and certainly not the masterpiece that "Sunrise" is, but it is still very worthwhile.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
MoC release VanRippestein
what a fascinating movie! colabama
A Masters of Cinema Blu-ray may be in the works! JonasEB
Discuss Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?