Louisiana Story 1948 NR CC

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(21) IMDb 7.1/10
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This was documentary pioneer Robert Flaherty's last feature. Beautifully photographed as a documentary, it was actually sponsored by an oil company to show how oil drilling can co-exist in a pristine bayou. The story follows a young cajun boy (Boudreaux) and his parents, who live in the bayou alongside a giant oil derrick. The boy is worried by the noise of the machines, but the oil workers give him a tour of their jobs, showing the benefits of the oil company and promise to leave the bayou unscathed when they leave. Nominated for an Academy Award for writing. Flaherty is most famous for his documentaries, "Nanook of the North" and "Man of Aran."

Starring:
Joseph Boudreaux, Lionel Le Blanc
Runtime:
1 hour 21 minutes

Louisiana Story

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Robert J. Flaherty
Starring Joseph Boudreaux, Lionel Le Blanc
Supporting actors E. Bienvenu, Frank Hardy, C.P. Guedry, Oscar J. Yarborough
Studio Reel Enterprises
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

If they're cleaning anything, it's their own mess.
J.M.
This is a random film about life in rural Louisiana during the invasion of the "big oil" boom after World War II.
dezauche@earthlink.net
May have been interesting in 1948 when outdoor filming was new but for today's audience it's well worth a miss.
kaycy szy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 2004
Format: DVD
This film is visually stunning. The images are quite simply breathtaking - the black and white photography is crisp, clean, and luminous. The film seems to have been lit from within. Our first view of the Cajun boy in his pirogue is touching and jaw-droppingly beautiful. The opening sequence has got to be one of the loveliest things ever filmed, and for that reason alone it's worth a look. The nature scenes are the most evocative, but I found the images of the men working on the oil derrick beautiful and strangely sublime as well.
The film is also a brief snapshot of what life in south Louisiana was like at that time - unspoiled and rustic and filled with a raw sort of beauty. The "actors" used in this film are achingly real. (And thus they are not always very good at what they are doing, especially the men on board the derrick - who are clearly more Texas than Louisiana.) I particularly enjoyed the boy's father and the scenes in which Cajun French is spoken; my mother is Cajun and let me tell you - this is the real thing. But the boy himself turns in the best performance - at times he is innocent and filled with awe, at other times he is full of mischief and "trop canaille" (to use his papa's words).
The story itself isn't really a story in the traditional sense, though there is enough of a narrative thread there to keep you entertained if you're in a quiet, patient mood. The scene where the boy tries to trap a gator is actually quite exciting, underscored as it is by the original score (which is excellent throughout).
In short, this film is perfect for anyone who truly understands and appreciates south Louisiana and its culture and is looking for something quiet and unique.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Buenoslibros.es on March 26, 2006
Format: DVD
The Bayou, Louisiana.

This documentary is shot with a beautiful black & white photography. The music perfectly matches the tempo and feeling of the story. Lasts only 75 minutes but captures our emotion and interest right from the first scene.

The box of the dvd misleads. It made me expect some kind of social reportage on the impact of oil industry in the pristine bayou wildlife. On the contrary (but that's for you to check).

The story is basically the life of a young and enchanting kid in the Bayou. His daily occupations, his relation with surrounding nature (its enchants and perils). It provokes an emotion similar to the reading of Huckelberry's adventures.

Again, as in all of Mr. Flaherty's documentaries, it's the sheer beauty of the photography and the wonderful capture of the expression of people's faces, real people, that make the viewing a humanly enriching experience.

I have to recommend, also of Mr. Flaherty, "The Man of Aran" and "Nanook of the North".
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By dezauche@earthlink.net on October 8, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is a random film about life in rural Louisiana during the invasion of the "big oil" boom after World War II. The director focuses on how simple and unchanged life in the swamp state was until the first oil derrick appears, and then the old life rapidly merges into the modern life of motor boats, electricity, and common prosperity. The quiet, solemn swamp is transformed into a noisy, bustling water highway. Robert Flaherty films local citizens in their natural habitat, speaking unrehearsed lines with natural French accents. This is the appeal of the film- all natural people, all natural settings, and improptu speech and action. For film study in black and white, and for the sheer simplicity of life before industrialization, this is the perfect choice. You will be left with an impression of innocence, of a time that is encapsulated in this film.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By ixta_coyotl on March 20, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Born on the Bayou! This is a great documentary-style film from Robert Flaherty, who brought us Nanook of the North, Tabu (with Murnau), and Man of Aran, among others. Here he takes us back to a simple primitive lifestyle in the American periphery which was soon to disappear with modernity during post-war American development.

You can see that Flaherty never became too fond of talkie cinema; even as late as 1948, his film is still nearly voiceless. But oh what marvelous images are these! Flaherty's love of nature virtually gushes out into each scene; the B&W cinematography is elegent and the image quality is delightfully crisp on this DVD version. See alligators, ra"coons", and the flow of the river, all in their natural splendour. And his filming of the machines is equally wonderful: he captures all their awful brilliance in a way that lets us feel what they must have inspired in the eyes of a young Acadian boy.

Of the extras, I particularly liked the exerpts from a Flaherty wartime Department of Agriculture film. It looked like a documentary on the Grapes of Wrath. Wonderful.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Phil Muse on June 19, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's nice to have Louisiana Story readily available at the Reel price, about a third of what you would pay for the Criterion edition. I've not seen the latter, so I have no basis for comparison. The Reel edition does capture the poetry in Robert Flaherty's cinematic imagery and gives you some idea why Virgil Thomson's music score won a Pulitzer Prize, unprecented for film music. As filmmaker, Flaherty makes no overt statement on the question of whether the bayou will revert to its unspoiled natural state when the oil drillers leave (a hot issue today in Louisiana), but he provides plenty of visual evidence to allow the viewer to make up his own mind. I wish the digital remastering had been a little cleaner and more precisely focused, though again I have no basis for comparison. This product was certainly well worth my $9.95 investment.
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