Louisiana Story (1948)

Louisiana Storylouisiana story poster
Directed by Robert J. Flaherty
Written by Robert J. Flaherty and Frances H. Flaherty
Robert Flaherty Productions Inc.
First viewing/Netflix rental
#224 of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

There’s a saying among prospectors: ‘Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll ever find.’ Robert J. Flaherty

A beautiful look at a bygone place and time on the edge of modernity.

This is an almost wordless look at a boy’s adventures in the backwaters of the Louisiana bayou.  He hunts and fishes from a canoe accompanied by his pet raccoon.  All is peaceful until he is forced to do battle with a huge alligator.


The bigger threat may be an oil rig that has just arrived to drill.  The boy seems to welcome the incredibly noisy contraption however.    He forms a silent bond with the crew on the rig and even tries to help out using the talisman of salt he carries as insurance against “them”.

louisiana story

UCLA did an incredible job restoring this film.  It is an lovely, meditative work. Nowadays it would be a “message” film.  Then it was a poem.   I had to slow way down to appreciate it.

Louisiana Story was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story.

Excerpt from UCLA’s restored version

4 thoughts on “Louisiana Story (1948)

    • I think you have to kind of get lost in the visuals and you have to be in the right mood. Certainly there’s not much excitement!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *