When pearls are discovered in the pristine waters of the south seas, an unscrupulous trader quickly moves in and takes advantage of the innocent islanders. They quickly adopt the unfortunate habits of civilization and are transformed into slaves of commercialism as they risk their lives to harvest the pearls. When an outspoken alcoholic doctor attempts to thwart the trader, the doctor is set adrift in a derelict boat, caught in a typhoon, and washes ashore on an idyllic island as yet untouched by the "white shadows" of greed. He falls in love with Fayaway, the chief’s daughter and is rejuvenated by the untouched environment and purity of the people who embrace him. But the corruption of civilization is too close for his paradise to last long.
Beautifully filmed on location in Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands with native islanders in authentic scenes of pearl diving, dancing, food preparation, feasting, etc. Partially directed by Robert Flaherty ("Tabu", "Moana"). Winner of the Academy Award for Best Cinematography and one of the first films with a pre-recorded musical soundtrack.
Starring: Raquel Torres, Monte Blue, and Robert Anderson - black & white - 1929 - 84 minutes