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Last of the Pagans (1935)

A young Polynesian couple is separated by a mining company which enslaves islanders.


Richard Thorpe


John Farrow (original story and screenplay) (as John Villiers Farrow)


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Complete credited cast:
Mala ... Taro
Lotus Long ... Lilleo (as Lotus)


A young Polynesian couple is separated by a mining company which enslaves islanders.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What Girl Wouldn't Trade Civilization...for the thrilling love of the jungle! (Print Ad- Windsor Daily Star,((Windsor, P.O.)) 30 January 1936)


Passed | See all certifications »





English | Polynesian

Release Date:

20 December 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Insel ohne Sünde See more »

Filming Locations:

Tahiti, French Polynesia


Box Office


$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


50,000 feet of underwater footage was shot for this film, with a final total of 60 reels shot during the 22 weeks of production. It was eventually released as an 8-reel feature. See more »


Island boy: [laughs] Taro goes a-courting!
Taro: [singing] This one is a great warrior! This one is a mighty hunter!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acknowledges, with gratitude, the sympathetic cooperation of government authorities toward the expedition that filmed this story in French Polynesia - - It also thanks the native inhabitants who play themselves. See more »

Alternate Versions

The French censors replaced the acknowledgment statement (see Crazy Credits) with "... advising that the film is based on past customs which will never return because of more humane laws now in existence." Also deleted were scenes of the natives unknowingly being contracted for five years of hard labor in the phosphate mines. See more »


Version of Enchanted Island (1958) See more »


Shadows on the Starlit Waters
Music by Bronislau Kaper and Walter Jurmann
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
See more »

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User Reviews

Turn the sound down and enjoy
11 June 2004 | by JohnSealSee all my reviews

Last of the Pagans features some quite stunning black and white photography by Clyde De Vinna and a paper thin story designed to please those who like travelogues with a touch of romance. Shot on location in Tahiti, the film is a lightweight take on the Robert Flaherty oeuvre, with numerous tips of the hat to the great documentarist's features, especially his 1926 South Seas epic Moana. Mala--an Alaskan native discovered by director W.S. Van Dyke during production of the similar Eskimo (1933)--plays Taro, the male chauvinist pig who steals beautiful Lotus Long from her native village and claims her as his own. Last of the Pagans is a relentless parade of cultural imperialism and cliches about primitive peoples and noble savages, but it looks absolutely gorgeous. You're best advised to turn the sound down, ignore the subtitles, and soak up De Vinna's superb camera work.

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