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What Do You Think?: Tupapaoo (1938)

An American trader disrupts life on a Polynesian island.



(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Carey Wilson ...
Kurt Larsen (the trader)


Kurt Larsen is the first non-native to set foot on the South Pacific island of Tawinghi. Larsen had left behind him a trail of greed and cruelty at every island he had visited before, with this one to be no different. What he had done and what he was going to do here was/is set up a trading post, where he would trade cheap dime store baubles to the natives for what the natives are unaware have real value off the island: pearls. What he also plans is to make a legal claim for the choicest piece of property on the island, which is the native's traditional burial and worship ground. Larsen plans on constructing a lavish home for himself there. Chanting 'tupapaoo', the natives place a curse on the land they used to call their sacred place as revenge against Larsen for his actions against them. Larsen views the chanting as nonsense. But will Larsen eventually learn otherwise? Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Short





Release Date:

11 June 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Do You Think No. 4: Tupapaoo  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.19 (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Decent Short
1 February 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

OK entry in the short series "What Do You Think?," directed by Jacques Tourneur. Starts off with narrator Carey Wilson telling of when he sailed on a tramp steamer years before. One night he and the other passengers see a meteor flash across the sky. They all discuss what a shooting star means to them, which leads one among them to relate a story he heard in his time in the South Pacific. Basically, it's the story of a white trader named Kurt Larsen (Moroni Olsen) who takes advantage of natives on a tiny island. When a meteor the natives call Tupapaoo flashes across the sky, the natives say its a sign of a curse. Larsen doesn't believe it at first but eventually bad things happen that force him to flee the island. This story then ties back to the present-day story amusingly.

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