The Last of His Tribe

This fact-based TV movie is set in 1911, when, we are told, the last surviving member of the Yahi Indian tribe was found in Oroville, Calif. The Indian, Ishi (Dances With Wolves’ Graham Greene), is soon be-friended by an anthropologist, played by Jon Voight, who comes to study him. Here’s a story that has been told a thousand times: how the noble, innocent “natural” man — in this case, Ishi — changes the life of a cold, unemotional “civilized” man — in this case, Voight’s Dr. Alfred Kroeber. The result, as directed by Harry Hook (Lord of the Flies), is tedious and condescending to both men, despite the fact that Voight does his best to make his chilly little man of science something more than a cliché. Last of His Tribe comes to life only when David Ogden Stiers M*A*S*H is around as Dr. Saxton Pope, a physician pal of Kroeber’s who is amusingly garrulous and grumpy — the only major character in this movie not portrayed as a saint. C

The Last of His Tribe
  • TV Show