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"WHITE SHADOWS IN THE WHITE SEAS" (1928)


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This is a magnificent film, which I taped on TCM a while ago, hope it's featured again, thanks TCM for being the Vault for this priceless jewels. Here's a review I wrote today for imdb:

 

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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for this fine post on "WHITE SHADOWS IN THE WHITE SEAS" which I have not had the pleasure of seeing as of yet.

 

Your remarks are reminding me a bit of a film that I just bought, "Tabu". It is the one directed by Murnau and Flaherty and is quite magnificent also...with similar scenes to what you descrive in WSIWS.

 

I hope to be able to compare both films someday soon, when TCM reshows it.

 

Have you seen "Tabu"? If you liked "Nanook of the North" you should enjoy it.

 

 

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Thanks Therealfuster...I have not seen "Tabu", but I've read that there similarities between both films, especially when it comes to the "documentary-type" footage (without actors) featured in "White Shadows..." . Tabu is a documentary, isn't it?

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Tabu's not quite a documentary, though it's on location with native non-professional actors. Flaherty and Murnau collaborated on the idea and I think Flaherty pulled out because Murnau was making a Sunrise-esque romantic story out of it and Flaherty, a documentary filmmaker, wanted it to be more real. That probably wasn't the only reason he quit, but the actual movie was done without him.

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feaito, thanks again for your review of Whit Shadows of the White Seas i have never seen it will beon the lookout for it on TCM. Btw it sure feels much like the movie The Hurricane which i adore for its cinematography

and the way the director handled each and every frame

just magnificent !.......lolite

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Welcome Lolite...I love "The Hurricane" too...I'd like to watch the South Seas drama "The Pagan", released in 1929 by MGM, with Ramon Novarro, R?nee Ador?e, Dorothy Janis and Donald Crisp. Has TCM even aired it?

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