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Krippendorf's Tribe (1998)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 27 February 1998 (USA)
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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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Michael Lindner ...
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 <b_white@bc.sympatico.ca>

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
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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 »


References Planet of the Apes (1968) 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

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User Reviews

Spoofing Academia and the Tasaday hoax
16 April 2015 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

"Krippendorf's Tribe" (1998) stars Richard Dreyfuss as the titular grieving anthropologist who is compelled to hoax an isolated tribe still living in the Stone Age. Jenna Elfman plays his assistant, Natasha Lyonne his daughter, Stephen Root his boss and Lily Tomlin his rival.

As my title blurb says, this movie spoofs Academia and the Tasaday hoax. If you're not familiar with the latter, a supposedly isolated tribe still living in the Stone Age was "discovered" on the Philippine island of Mindanao and prominently featured in a 1972 issue of National Geographic. In 1986 it was discovered that the Tasaday were simply members of known local tribes who put on the appearance of living a Stone Age lifestyle under pressure from Manuel Elizalde.

The movie's silly and fun, but not laugh-out-loud funny, although there are a handful of mild laughs. That said, humor's a personal thing, which explains why some people find this movie funny. I don't, but it's likable and quietly amusing. If you're a fan of Dreyfuss and Elfman it's a must.

The film runs 94 minutes and was shot in the Los Angeles area and Ka'a'awa, O'ahu, Hawaii.


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