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Krippendorf's Tribe (1998)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 27 February 1998 (USA)
An anthropologist creates a fictitious lost New Guinea tribe using his family members to cover-up for his mis-use of grant moneys.

Director:

Todd Holland

Writers:

Frank Parkin (book), Charlie Peters (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Krippendorf
Jenna Elfman ... Veronica
Natasha Lyonne ... Shelly
Gregory Smith ... Mickey
Carl Michael Lindner Carl Michael Lindner ... Edmund
Lily Tomlin ... Ruth Allen
Stephen Root ... Gerald Adams, Dean
Doris Belack ... President Porter
Julio Oscar Mechoso ... Simon Alonso
Siobhan Fallon Hogan ... Lori (as Siobhan Fallon)
Amzie Strickland Amzie Strickland ... Gladys Schmades
Phil Leeds ... Dr. Harvey
Frances Bay ... Edith Proxmire
Susan Ruttan ... Mrs. O'Brian
Barbara Williams ... Jennifer
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Storyline

A university professor is paid to find the last undiscovered tribe of New Guinea. When he fails to find the tribe, he comes home, and rather than admitting that he's failed, he gives a lecture about the Shelmikedmu tribe (named after his children: Shelly, Mike, and Edmund) and then has his family dress like "Shelmikedmus," so that he can film them as proof of his discovery. Written by Daniel Aubrey White <b_white@bc.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The last undiscovered tribe is about to expose themselves. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tribo dos Krippendorf See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,316,377, 1 March 1998

Gross USA:

$7,571,115

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,571,115
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On Twitter, Richard Dreyfuss said "I had so much fun with Jenna Elfman during Krippendorf. The movie was not very good, but we had some fun." See more »

Quotes

Veronica Micelli: Professor! Come here.
James Krippendorf: Oh... Tinker Bell.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Production Dogs .... Rosebud and Mickey See more »

Connections

Spoofs Sunset Blvd. (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Boogie Fever
Written by Freddie Perren (as Frederick J. Perren) and Keni St. Lewis (as Kenneth St. Lewis)
Performed by The Sylvers
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

If it is possible to recommend a film soley on the fact that it has a couple funny scenes, "Krippendorf's Tribe" is the one to recommend.
26 April 2003 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

If it is possible to recommend a film soley on the fact that it has a couple funny scenes, "Krippendorf's Tribe" is the one to recommend. It is not sporadically funny. It is barely remotely funny. But it hits the laugh-mark a few times, and when it does, the results are hilarious.

The hilarious scene in "Krippendorf's Tribe" isn't a potentially smart one, nor a particularly witty one. But it is hilarious, and it had me rolling over on the floor in laughter. Sadly, there are only one or two scenes like this; the rest of the film tries to be funny but just isn't. Blame it on the script, blame it on the director, but don't blame it on Richard Dreyfuss, because you can tell he tried.

Dreyfuss plays Krippendorf, an anthropologist researching a legendary tribe deep in New Guinea. The film opens with shots of him filming with his camera. Unfortunately, he comes back to America with no evidence of any real tribe. But the real bad news is that his grant money has been completely used up. And things get even worse when Krippendorf finds out that a person can go to jail for what he has done (misappropriating grant money).

The day of his lecture on the tribe grows nearer, and when he finally gets up in front of everyone...he lies.

You see, earlier that day, in the spur of a moment, Krippendorf took his three children, dressed them up with Indian-tribe-type cloaks, and painted their faces. Presto. Instant tribe-members. He filmed them in the backyard, then took the video to his conference, where he proceeds to lie to everyone in the room, saying he has found the legendary tribe and has caught them on videotape. He plays the tape, and they all believe him. Whew.

But now they want to see more. They want to see the tribe. They want to hear about their lifestyles, their rituals; Access Hollywood, anyone?

Because of this plot setup results the funniest scene in the movie, in which Krippendorf sets up a fake circumcision bit with one of his children. I won't ruin that scene, because it is really the only thing worth seeing in the movie.

If you want a night-in watching a film, but don't feel like anything profound of memorable, "Krippendorf's Tribe" is the way to go, but don't expect anything too special.

2.5/5 stars -

John Ulmer


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