Toronto is raving

Here’s a movie ad from the August 1 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star.


It was handy of the ad to explain that “tabu” meant “forbidden”.

Tabu (also called Tabu: A Story of the South Seas) was a silent film divided into two parts:

  • Part 1 featured two lovers on a South Sea island who were forced to flee when the female half of the couple was chosen to be a “holy maid to the gods”, which presumably isn’t good.
  • In Part 2, they lived on a colonised island and were exploited by Western civilization. This isn’t good either.

Facts about the movie:

  • F. W. Murnau, the director, had died in an automobile crash earlier in the year; this was his last film.
  • Reri‘s full name was Anna Irma Ruahrei Chevalier; the daughter of a French father and a Polynesian mother, she was spotted in a bar in Bora Bora. She passed away in Tahiti in 1977.
  • The movie won an Oscar for Best Cinematography. The cinematographer, Floyd Crosby, eventually became the father of musician David Crosby.
  • It was not a box office success, grossing only $472,000; its investors lost money.
  • In 1994, Tabu was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

You can view Tabu on YouTube here.


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