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Krippendorf's Tribe (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  27 February 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 4,479 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.



(book), (screenplay)
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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


The last undiscovered tribe is about to expose themselves. 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 »


Irene Harding: Get away from me, you voodoo twit!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Spoofs Sunset Blvd. (1950) See more »


The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Original Music and Lyrics by Solomon Linda (uncredited)
Written by Hugo Peretti, George David Weiss and Luigi Creatore
Performed by The Nylons
Courtesy of Attic Productions Ltd.
By Arrangement with The Windham Hill Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Anthropology Students
15 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think this is a great film for anthropology students. It demonstrates many of the hypocricies that exist within academia as well as the types of pressures that many professionals feel within the field. I also think it's a great introductory example for anthropology students regarding ethics, structures of cultures, and the nature of our own culture (how we justify normally taboo items).

I show it to my Introduction to Anthropology students every year. They laugh, they ask questions, and they appreciate the film. I recommend it. I've used it for years in Anthropology classes - I have students analyze the Shelmikedmud and come up with more cultural traits. I then follow by having them simulate the type of cultural creations that scifi writers do - creating their own alien cultures.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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