7.1/10
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18 user 6 critic

White Shadows in the South Seas (1928)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 10 November 1928 (USA)
An alcoholic doctor on a Polynesian island, disgusted by white exploitation of the natives, finds himself marooned on a pristinely beautiful island.

Directors:

W.S. Van Dyke, Robert J. Flaherty (uncredited)

Writers:

Frederick O'Brien (famous novel), Ray Doyle (compiled by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Monte Blue ... Dr. Matthew Lloyd
Raquel Torres ... Fayaway
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Storyline

Matthew Lloyd has drifted away from a respectable career as a physician, and lives a mediocre existence in a Polynesian island. There, pearl-trader Sebastian and his associates recklessly exploit the natives working for them as divers. After witnessing the appalling consequences of "civilization" on the local population, Matthew vehemently condemns Sebastian's greed and ruthlessness. Sebastian, however, will not shy away from any means to crush opposition to his activities. Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@research.nokia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

native | greed | doctor | death | shipwreck | See All (39) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bele sence See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (talking sequences, music and sound effects)| Silent

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was MGM's first sound picture, and premiered in Hollywood at Sid Grauman's Chinese Theater on Friday, 3 Aug 1928. See more »

Goofs

The drowned young man's left arm moves by itself. See more »

Quotes

Sebastian - a Trader: Me give you nice tick-tock... you give me little oyster bead?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Settling the Score (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Flower of Love
(1928) (uncredited)
Music by William Axt and David Mendoza
Lyrics by Dave Dreyer and Herman Ruby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A magnificent film
16 February 2005 | by fsilvaSee all my reviews

It still doesn't cease to amaze me how some Silent Movies, dramas or comedies, catch my attention so much, getting me so immersed in the plot, thus making me forget I'm watching a silent, an antique, a piece of history, enjoying the movie as I'd do with any "talking" movie.

In this case, the images are so real (it was filmed on location) and so hauntingly beautiful, that make many later Hollywood films from the 1940's or 1950's, which depict "South Seas Life" look unreal, fake, notwithstanding their possible entertainment value.

There's so much truth in this morality photo-play about a white man, identified as a "derelict" of the South Seas, previously a doctor, who finds "Paradise on Earth" (peace, love & happiness), on a certain island of the Polynesia. Monte Blue is great as this "white man".

Most of the featured players of the film, one realizes, are real natives from the islands, and this adds so much truth to the storyline. Beautiful actress Raquel Torres, does not seem (IMHO) out of place at all as Monte Blue's native love interest. And Robert Anderson is a very nasty villain.

There are some awesome underwater sequences, featuring octopuses, sharks, pearl-diving and others featuring palm-climbing, dancing, etc. Notice the different tinting (reddish, blue, sepia ...) of the sequences of the film; only at the beginning and on the end, plain black and white is used.

Great Sound score for this late "silent film", the first used for a MGM film and the first time Leo-the-Lion roared! The original South-Sea Islands Film. Excellent.


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