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Krippendorf's Tribe
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Krippendorf's Tribe More at IMDbPro »

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18 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

It was funny!

Author: brelsa from United States
8 October 2005

I laughed a lot at this film! I have always loved Richard Dreyfus, and Jenna Elfman plays her role in this movie with a Lucille Ball-like zaniness. Like Dreyfus she has the ability to play drama as well as comedy. I can't understand how some of the other reviews are so harsh. Maybe you need to know what to expect when you sit down to watch this movie. Don't try to take the story too seriously. For example, if you're an anthropologist in real life, don't try to compare it to reality. Separate yourself from your day job, and don't take the jokes personally. It is a wild and crazy movie that is no more about the real life field of anthropology than "Scrubs" is about medicine. Lighten up, have a beer, relax, and you will enjoy this movie. Slapstick comedy has its place in the entertainment field. Don't spoil it for the rest of us who still enjoy this genre.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Classic slapstick at its nouveau best

Author: Gil Munk from Baltimore, MD
24 October 1998

Dreyfuss has always been a master of high humor and KT is another enjoyable vehicle for it. Elfman is funny and vivacious, as well as lovely to look at. Both stars work well together. I laughed throughout; appreciating the movie for what it was meant to be: good comedy. I recommend this film for anyone wanting a lot of good laughs.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A family delight

Author: excalibur-382-183911 from Australia
28 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I cannot disagree with the previous summary more. Whoever they are, they have no pulse! Just watched the movie last night with my family, and everyone had a great time - and laughed themselves silly. After a bit of a slow start, we find ourselves faced with one of the most inventive families ever - and one begins to lose track of how many lies have been told. The movie also lampoons fads in general. It is truly bizarre what can capture the public mindset, but when fashions are created upon a fictitious tribe, you know they've lost the plot. Jenna Elfman practically Xeroxed her Dharma character from Dharma & Greg, but she was more than welcome. Her charm and energy are infectious. Richard Dreyfuss was at his sarcastic best as well. And the Shelmickedmu? Hamamas! (If you want to know what that means watch the movie). It was a crying shame it was hard to find on DVD, but if you can pick up this gem, you won't regret it. And you'll find yourselves coming back for more.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Krippendorf's Tribe — A very intelligent family comedy with a flair for the exotic

Author: Avid Climber from Montreal, Canada
3 December 2012

Krippendorf's Tribe has achieved something special, an incredible balance of fun and smarts accessible to all.

There's a bit of exaggeration that will hold the interest of those who want primal fun, but little enough as not to displease those who do not want to be submerged by unrealistic situations.

The intelligent humor of the dialogs and scenario will easily enthused those who need smarts to appreciate a comedy, but not so much as to rebuff those who do not want to work their brains to laugh.

The acting is without reproach, even if a few of the secondary characters are a bit caricatured. The photography, soundtrack, and editing are as perfect as they are invisible, yet remarkable. The story is without logical flaw.

A must see, easily enjoyable by anyone.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Anthropology Students

Author: sdickens from United States
15 May 2009

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.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Spoofing Academia and the Tasaday hoax

Author: Wuchak from Ohio/PA border
16 April 2015

"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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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Smooth Deception? Hardly. But An Enjoyable Endeavor All The Same.

Author: Elswet from .: Fiendish Writings in the Dark :.
13 May 2007

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 :.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Unbelievable, but funny

Author: R.L. Hill from Indianapolis, In
6 August 1999

If this movie can be accepted as is (a comedy), it is funny. If totally unbelievable plot and situations are ignored it can still be a laugher. A few of the better instances were Lilly Tomlin (?) in the jungle, the television interview, and the banquet scene.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Richard Dreyfuss has done it again!

Author: Predrag ( from Serbia
4 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Great performances by Dreyfuss and Elfman make this movie work wonderfully and make you laugh so hard you think your going to cry. This film is put together in a way it's sure to make you laugh. Professor James Krippendorf (Richard Dreyfess) is a Professor of anthropology and also a widower. Down in depression he ends up using the universities grant money for his own personal use. Faced with either confessing and going to jail, or going on with his fairy tale tribe. He chooses to go on with his made up tribe the Shelmikedmu. Using his own 3 kids and back yard for filming. He comes up with the most unique tribe ever seen before. Also with the help of his over anxious colleague Veronica Macelli (Jenna Elfman) who wont leave him alone. He ends up going deeper and deeper into his fairytale tribe, and trying to keep up with his lie. They end up taking the tribe national.

Dreyfus handles the comedy with aplomb as he has done before, with the help of a supportive cast. It was nice to see Phil Leeds one last time in a couple of very brief appearances in a crowd scene. He was one of those talented character actors who always added that bit of spice to a production. This movie is very well put together, and just so ridiculous you got to laugh. In the end you will wish you were Shelmikedmu too. It's definitely worth seeing.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Krippendorf's Tripe.

Author: Python Hyena from Canada
15 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Krippendorf's Tribe (1998): Dir: Todd Holland / Cast: Richard Dreyfuss, Jenna Elfman, Gregory Smith, Natasha Lyonne, Lily Tomlin: The tribe speculated upon regards a family to its hero in a recycled idea that worked well in Tootsie. Richard Dreyfuss stars as a single parent who has until evening to complete a speech regarding his tribal research. He convinces the board with a phony video of his family playing a tribe in their backyard. Jenna Elfman wishes to broadcast his success so he gets her drunk and involves her in a mating ritual that she will eventually see on the news. Meanwhile there are those whom do not buy the act and set out to prove him a fraud. Recycled concept fully formula with a conceited ending. Director Todd Holland does well with the film's amateur appeal. Dreyfuss and Elfman have fine comic chemistry that translates the only decent comic payoff in the entire charade. Gregory Smith and Natasha Lyonne have the misfortune of playing the reluctant children but their roles are typical and far from elevated. The biggest waste is the usually funny Lily Tomlin playing someone attempting to expose Krippendorf as a fraud by searching for the real tribe. With only its leads pulling through it is a wonder that it couldn't muster up a single original idea. Familiar premise leaves viewers with little other than to wonder what the Krippendorf yard sale would look like. Score: 3 / 10

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