~White Shadows In The South Seas~
1928
~Monte Blue & Raquel Torres~
~Plot Synopsis~
Filmed on location in Tahiti, White Shadows in the South Seas was originally intended as a project for
famed documentary filmmaker Robert Flaherty, whose Nanook of the North had cleaned up at the
box-office. At first given complete artistic control, Flaherty began faltering in terms of keeping cast and
crew organized; even worse, he moved too slowly to suit his parent studio MGM. More and more
directorial authority was relegated to Flaherty's assistant, the phenominally fast W. S. "Woody" Van
Dyke. Frustrated, Flaherty resigned (some reports claim that he fell ill and was taken off the project),
and the film became solely the responsibility of Van Dyke. Despite the wails from the pro-Flaherty
camp about "compromise" and "bastardization", the finished White Shadows in the South Seas is a
superlative work. Loosely based on a 1919 book by Frederick O'Brien, the film charts the denigration
of the South Sea islands and its denizens thanks to the intervention of white civilization. Monte Blue
plays an alcoholic doctor who is disgusted by the negative effects of European colonization. He sails
away to an island still untouched by "white shadows", where he falls in love with native girl Raquel
Torres. Enchanted by the idyllic lifestyle of the islanders, Blue reacts with horror when he sees a group
of white men sailing into view, bringing their usual seductive trinkets of alcohol and cigarettes.
Attempting to quell the invasion, Blue is killed. As her island falls victim to civilization, Raquel mourns
over her lover's grave. Gorgeously photographed, White Shadows in the South Seas is a masterful blend
of drama and documentary. Most surviving prints do not include the clumsily constructed talkie
sequences, wherein Monte Blue teaches Raquel Torres how to whistle (this scene works far better
when conveyed silently).

Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com
Directed by:
W.S. Van Dyke    
Robert J. Flaherty

Written by:
Ray Doyle - adaptation  
Jack Cunningham - adaptation
John Colton - titles

Based on the novel White Shadows in the South Seas by Frederick O'Brien
(New York, 1919).
~Cast~

Monte Blue ...  Dr. Matthew Lloyd
Raquel Torres ...  Fayaway
Robert Anderson ...  Sebastian, a Trader
Renee Bush ...  Lucy (uncredited)
Napua ...  Native Boy (uncredited)
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~338-6: Monte Blue as the castaway hero of Cosmopolitan's
White Shadows of the South Seas. As a castaway, Blue finds
love and death on a virgin island in the Southern Pacific.
Raquel Torres plays the the feminine lead in this drama of the
white man's domination in the Polynesian Islands, where the
film was directed by W. S. Van Dyke.~
~Remaining Credits~

Production Company: Cosmopolitan Productions for MGM

Distribution Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Produced by: Hunt Stromberg & Irving Thalberg  
Original Music by: William Axt - uncredited
Cinematography by: Clyde De Vinna, George Gordon Nogle & Bob Roberts    
Film Editing by: Ben Lewis    
Sound Recordist: Douglas Shearer - uncredited

Length: 9 Reels
Runtime: 88 Minutes
Released: November 10, 1928
Other Links That You Might Find Helpful to you for this film:

imdb.com - general information (data base form)
allmovie.com - plot synopsis
tcm.com - general information also including plot synopsis
afi.com - general
~338-166: Napua & Monte Blue~