IMDb > Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931)
Tabu: A Story of the South Seas
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Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931) More at IMDbPro »

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7.6/10   3,852 votes »
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Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
F.W. Murnau (told by)
Robert J. Flaherty (told by)
View company contact information for Tabu: A Story of the South Seas on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 August 1931 (USA) See more »
On the South Pacific island of Bora Bora, a young couple's love is threatened when the tribal chief declares the girl a sacred virgin. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Beautiful... See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Matahi ... The Boy
Anne Chevalier ... The Girl (as Reri)
Bill Bambridge ... The Policeman (as Jean)
Hitu ... The Old Warrior
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ah Fong ... The Businessman (uncredited)
Jules ... The Captain (uncredited)
Mehao ... Boys Friend (uncredited)

Directed by
F.W. Murnau 
Writing credits
F.W. Murnau (told by)

Robert J. Flaherty (told by) (as R.J. Flaherty)

Edgar G. Ulmer  uncredited

Produced by
David Flaherty .... associate producer (uncredited)
Robert J. Flaherty .... producer (uncredited)
F.W. Murnau .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Violeta Dinescu (1995)
Hugo Riesenfeld (musical setting)
W. Franke Harling (uncredited)
Milan Roder (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Floyd Crosby (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Arthur A. Brooks (uncredited)
Production Management
Edgar G. Ulmer .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bill Bambridge .... assistant director
David Flaherty .... assistant director (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Floyd Crosby .... camera operator (uncredited)
Editorial Department
H.H. Caldwell .... supporting editor (uncredited)
Martha Dresback .... negative cutter (uncredited)
Katherine Hilliker .... supporting editor (uncredited)
Edgar G. Ulmer .... supervising editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Frank Strobel .... conductor (1995)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Tabu" - USA (poster title)
See more »
86 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (R.C.A. Photophone System)
Argentina:13 | Germany:6 (DVD rating) | Netherlands:14 (re-rating) (1941) | Netherlands:AL (original rating) (1931) | Sweden:Btl | UK:PG (DVD) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

The film was censored upon release to remove nudity involving natives on the island.See more »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in La última película (2013)See more »
Symphony 'Má vlast'See more »


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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Beautiful..., 3 November 2000
Author: diogoal-2 from Recife, Brazil

People with prejudice against silent films should see "Tabu"; it´s a masterpiece of cinema. The storyline is superb, a struggle not between good and evil, but between human will and fate; there´s a beautiful love story of natives of the South Seas, mystery and suspense; and, to boot, some of the most wonderful sights you´ve ever seen in a b&w flick. The anthropological genius of Robert O´Flaherty, and the creativeness of F.W. Murnau cannot be denied; this is the meeting of two movie titans.

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