Man of Two Worlds (1934)

  |  Drama

Man of Two Worlds (1934) Poster

A British explorer in the Arctic hires a local Eskimo as an assistant. The earnest but unsophisticated young man happens to see a photograph of the explorer's beautiful daughter and falls ... See full summary »

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23 November 2013 | utgard14
| Eskimo Kisses
This movie opens with Francis Lederer, all decked out in furs, charging at the camera with a spear in his hand and a look on his face that suggests imbecility. It's impossible to refrain from laughing at this sight. With his silly haircut and goofy grin, Lederer looks like a dark-haired Red Skelton. There is no way I, as a modern viewer, can take myself back to 1934 so completely as to see Lederer's performance as anything other than unintentional camp. I love older films and I try not to hold them to modern standards when judging them. But some films are just really hard to do that with. This is one of them.

Man of Two Worlds is an interesting curio. I'm sure those involved with the making of it patted themselves on the back for how broad-minded they were to make a film about Eskimos but in retrospect the whole thing comes across as offensive and patronizing. It's a fairly standard story for the time: ignorant savage is brought to the land of the white people where they attempt to "civilize" him but, of course, cannot. He also falls madly in love with the first white woman he sees. It doesn't matter if the savage of the story is an Eskimo or an American Indian or an African. It's always the same concept with the same results. Disturbingly, you'll notice how similar the plot is to that of King Kong! I'm sure the people behind this film (and others like it) earnestly believed they were being benevolent and forward-thinking. But it all seems very dated today and will surely offend some who watch it. However, if you're interested check it out for historical purposes and just general curiosity. It's not a poorly made film of its type but that type isn't for everybody.

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Release Date:

13 January 1934



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