Tabu (A Story of the South Seas)

About This Dvd.  Buy Dvd  Eureka! - Masters of Cinema Index  Search Site

F.W. Murnau

We are based in South London near Croydon, UK, and if preferred this item can be picked up by appointment. Just e-mail here. I also welcome the old fashioned cheque and po as it is cheaper to process and all orders are sent off same day as cheque received.


    Director: F.W. Murnau
    Format: Black & White, PAL
    Region: Region 2 (UK & Europe)
    Number of discs: 1
    Classification: PG

    Studio: Eureka Entertainment Ltd
    DVD Release Date: 19 Nov 2007
    Run Time: 83 minutes

    Barcode: 5060000402292

    After Murnau and Flaherty's contract with production company Colorart lapsed, stranding the filmmakers in the South Seas, Murnau decided to fund the project himself. To avoid legal complications, 'Turia' evolved into 'Tabu', and a new story was written, though it was not published until decades later, when it featured in Film Culture 20, 1959

  • In 1929, F. W. Murnau (Nosferatu, Faust, Sunrise), one of the greatest of all film directors, invited leading documentarist Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North, Man of Aran) to collaborate on a film to be be shot on location in Tahiti, a Polynesian idyll in which Murnau imagined a cast of island actors would provide a new form of authentic drama and offer rare insight into their “primitive” culture. The result of their collaboration was Tabu, a film that depicts the details of indigenous island life to tell a mythical tale that is rich in the universal themes of desire and loss.

    Subtitled a “Story of the South Seas”, Tabu concerns a Tahitian fisherman (played by an islander, Matahi) and his love for a young woman (played by fellow islander Reri, who went on to star on Broadway) whose body has been consecrated to the gods, rendering her tabu as far as mortal men are concerned. The lovers flee their island and its restrictive traditions, but will their love prevail in the “civilised” world?

    This Oscar-winning film (the Academy Award went to cinematographer Floyd Crosby) is both poetic and simple in tone. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present – completely uncensored and fully restored – this landmark film of rare exoticism and magical beauty, described by critic Lotte Eisner in 1931 as “the apogee of the art of the silent film”.



    • New Murnau-Stiftung/Luciano Berriatúa 75th anniversary restoration of the pre-Paramount, longer Murnau-approved version of the film, with uncensored scenes and titlecards for the first time.
    • Full-length commentary track by R. Dixon Smith and Brad Stevens.
    • 15-minute German documentary about Tabu by Luciano Berriatúa.
    • 80-PAGE BOOK with articles by Scott Eyman, Richard Griffiths, and David Flaherty; an interview with the film’s cinematographer Floyd Crosby; and the original story treatments written by Murnau and Flaherty for Tabu and its aborted predecessor Turia.

      USA | 83 min.
      1.37:1 OAR
      black & white


  • Price: £49.99 (UK Sterling) (Deleted Title: 1 left in Stock - March 2012)
    (Shipped from UK) (Price includes UK postage & packaging. Outside UK please e-mail here with country ordering from for postage quote)

    Condition: 'New & Sealed'. Complete with 80-page booklet

    To reserve this item please e-mail by clicking here and include country ordering from. I will then get back to you within 24 hours with availability, price including postage and methods of payment (paypal, cheque, which is preferred, po etc.).

  • Also available: (uk) | (us)

    Currently in Stock.  About Dvd  Buy Dvd  Eureka! - Masters of Cinema Index  Search Site  Top of Page

    © Lenin Imports   E-mail