Krippendorf's Tribe (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  27 February 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 4,499 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 32 critic

An anthropologist creates a fictitious lost New Guinea tribe using his family members to cover-up for his mis-use of grant moneys.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Michael Lindner ...
Jacob Handy ...
Zachary Handy ...
Doris Belack ...
Lori (as Siobhan Fallon)
Amzie Strickland ...


A university professor is paid to find the last undiscovered tribe of New Guinea. When he fails to find the tribe, he comes home, and rather than admitting that he's failed, he gives a lecture about the Shelmikedmu tribe (named after his children: Shelly, Mike, and Edmund) and then has his family dress like "Shelmikedmus," so that he can film them as proof of his discovery. Written by Daniel Aubrey White <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A father discovers that the most important 'long lost tribe' in his life may be very close to home. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual humor | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Tribo dos Krippendorf  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,316,377 (USA) (27 February 1998)


$7,514,883 (USA) (24 April 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Last cinema film of 'Zakes Mokaes'. See more »


Shelly Krippendorf: You are pathetic.
James Krippendorf: What?
Shelly Krippendorf: You said we weren't doing any more of these.
James Krippendorf: Oh, give me a break, I'm dying with dignity out here.
Shelly Krippendorf: Why don't you try living with some?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Production Dogs .... Rosebud and Mickey See more »


The Impression That I Get
Written by Dicky Barrett and Joe Gittleman
Performed by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Courtesy of Mercury Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Smooth Deception? Hardly. But An Enjoyable Endeavor All The Same.
13 May 2007 | by (.: Fiendish Writings in the Dark :.) – See all my reviews

Richard Dreyfus. An anthropologist creates a fake New Guinea tribe to further his career.

This sounded like it would be painful to watch, and in some places, it is just that. but overall, this bears an endearing tone, and a genuine humor, which consistently colors the work, throughout.

Dreyfus's character, Krippendorf, is a frantic/manic anthropologist who tries to seem as though he is calm and collected, on the surface of the deception he has laid. Dreyfus is a phenomenal actor, who needs another Jaws/Close Encounters to revitalize his career. I wonder if Spielberg is listening? His performances come off as direct projections from the heart, no matter how low the budget they allow him, or what horrendous costars they saddle him with.

This work features a quirky story line with quirky subplots, and quirky characters, but none as enigmatic as Krippendorf himself.

This is a great way to spend a couple of hours, but as a Disney movie? Disney rewrites known history to suit its ends, and usually does so with great panache, but the return to ethnocentrism is potentially damaging to the field of anthropology. However, if you can suspend belief, which you must do to enjoy any Disney movie, then you may find the enjoyment from it that I did, but as usual, I'm in the minority.

It rates a 7.1/10 from...

the Fiend :.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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