In one island of Bora Bora lagoon, a young fisherman, Matahi, is in love with Reri. But she is chosen to be the holy maid and therefore becomes "tabu". They ran away from that tradition. ... See full summary »
Many passengers on the Shanghai Express are more concerned that the notorious Shanghai Lil is on board than the fact that a civil war is going on that may make the trip take more than three... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Anna May Wong
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 »
In one island of Bora Bora lagoon, a young fisherman, Matahi, is in love with Reri. But she is chosen to be the holy maid and therefore becomes "tabu". They ran away from that tradition. Will they be happier and luckier in the more "civilized" society ? Written by
The film was censored upon release to remove nudity involving natives on the island. See more »
[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.
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"Tabu" is a visually arresting black-and-white silent...and that's a good thing because there's not much else going on here to occupy your mind. Heavy-handed "plot" about a doomed beauty on primitive Bora Bora who flees her island home and family with her lover, unable to escape her unlucky fate, is cast with real islanders so you cannot fault the authenticity; however, there's nobody in the film who leaves an impression. The movie began life as a documentary, but director F.W. Murnau pushed for a fictional storyline to propel the visuals, and this may have been a mistake. As it unfolds, one can see shot after shot of beautiful images that would look wonderful in a coffee-table book for the tiki lounge set, but the dated dramatics muddy things up. Floyd Crosby won a well-deserved Oscar for his cinematography. **1/2 from ****
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