The film was banned in Germany; French censors deleted scenes of natives being contracted unknowingly for 5 years of hard labor. See more »
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acknowledges, with gratitude, the sympathetic cooperation of government authorities toward the expedition that filmed this story in French Polynesia - - It also thanks the native inhabitants who play themselves. See more »
Last of the Pagans features some quite stunning black and white photography by Clyde De Vinna and a paper thin story designed to please those who like travelogues with a touch of romance. Shot on location in Tahiti, the film is a lightweight take on the Robert Flaherty oeuvre, with numerous tips of the hat to the great documentarist's features, especially his 1926 South Seas epic Moana. Mala--an Alaskan native discovered by director W.S. Van Dyke during production of the similar Eskimo (1933)--plays Taro, the male chauvinist pig who steals beautiful Lotus Long from her native village and claims her as his own. Last of the Pagans is a relentless parade of cultural imperialism and cliches about primitive peoples and noble savages, but it looks absolutely gorgeous. You're best advised to turn the sound down, ignore the subtitles, and soak up De Vinna's superb camera work.
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