Thursday, September 9, 2010

1928 - WHITE SHADOWS IN THE SOUTH SEAS, good South Pacific adventure

An alcoholic doctor finds redemption on a remote south Pacific.  That's all the plot in this film.

Made during the period when movies were transitioning from silent to sound, White Shadows in the South Seas has music and some synchronized sound effects but not actual dialog.  MGM hired Robert Flaherty to film this story and sent him and a crew to Tahiti.  Flaherty was never a film maker who could develop or film a story with the usual cookie cutter production approach,  His pondering and indecision was a major frustration to the production team and he was eventually fired and replaced by W. S. Van Dyke a studio director. 

The film has impressive and very beautiful on location photography.  A lot of the actors appear to be actual natives.  The exception, the actor Rachel Torres a stunning woman with the very non native plucked eyebrow look.

Critical of the corrupt influence of white European culture on the natives, White Shadows in the South Seas for the most part contains the typical white man fantasy about living on a tropical island with a beautiful native girl worshiping everything about him.

W. S. Van Dyke may have been a studio director but he definitely put together an impressive film.

No comments: