This page includes information that may not reflect the current views and values of the Penn Museum.

Matto Grosso Logo



Sound Moving Pictures : Science : Exploration

University of Pennsylvania Museum of
Archaeology & Anthropology

Film Archivist

Kate Pourshariati


Film Credits:

Title: Matto Grosso, the Great Brazilian Wilderness.

A Principal Adventure Picture, Principal Distribution Corporation.

Presented by Frank R. Wilson.

Produced by the Matto Grosso Expedition Inc.

Led by Captain Victor Perfillieff.


Floyd Crosby,

John S. Clarke Jr.

David M. Newell


Floyd Crosby

Arthur R. Rossi

Sound Recording

Ainslee R. Davis

Clarence Wall

Arrangement & accompaniment:

John W. Wandercook

RCA Photophone system.


Paul F. Maschke

Uncredited Expedition members:

Anthropologist/Ethnographer: Vincenzo M. Petrullo (also collected archaeological site survey materials and linguistic data)

Hunter: Alexander (Sasha) Siemel

Zoologist & Infectious disease specialist: S. Alexander Daveron (Johns Hopkins)

Engineer and Electric, Radio operator, Sound: John Newell.

Second radio operator: A. Montle

Taxidermist and project co-funder: William E. Green

Pharmacy: Mrs. Aliph von Cortland Whitehead Crosby

Co funder: Samuel Hoopes

John Gordon Ramsay (ranch/base camp manager)

Bororo People of the village of Luguna

Zoologist: James A.G. Rehn, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia

Funder: E. R. Fenimore Johnson

Pilot: Charles Lorber

Co-pilot and mechanic: Jose M. Saucedo

Matto Grosso, Documentary, and Ethnographic Film Bibliography

A.D.S. “In a Brazilian jungle.” New York Times, 14 January, 1933. (Proquest).

A.D.S. “Another lady called Lou” New York Times, 1 April1933. p. 18 (Proquest).

“Back with pictures of Brazil jungle New York Times, 12 November, 1931 p.30 (Proquest).

Betty Crosby, personal correspondence with author, 2008-2009 Brigard, Emilie Rahman de. “History of Ethnographic Film” In Principles of visual anthropology, edited by Paul Hocking, 13-44. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 1995.

Caiuby Novaes, Sylvia and Cunha, Edgar Teodoro. Landscapes of memory – The film Matto Grosso (1931) and other visual images of the Bororo of Central Brazil. Unpublished article.

Edina Film & Sound Online “Six thirty collection” (Accessed October 7, 2009)

“Explorers nearing jungle study goal” New York Times, 1 February, 1931 p.35 (Proquest).

“Explorer shows sound film of primitive Brazil tribe” Washington Post, 31 January.1933 p.7 (Proquest).

Floyd Crosby interviewed by Nick Pasquariello, n.d. (1970’s). This oral history is part of a yet unpublished biography of Floyd Crosby graciously provided by Mr. Pasquariello

Foley, Karma, e-mail message to author, September 21, 2009.

Gardner, Robert The impulse to preserve. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum Press, 2006.

King, Eleanor “Petrullo’s Visit to the Yawalpiti” 1993 (accessed September 1, 2009).

Loizos, Peter Innovation in ethnographic film University of Chicago Press, 1993.

“Matto Grosso films brought from jungle” New York Times, 19 August, 1931. p.23 (Proquest).

“Matto Grosso party emerges with a zoo” New York Times, 2 November, 1931 p.26. (Proquest).

Nichols, Bill “Documentary and the coming of sound”

Oskiloff, Assenka. Picturing the primitive: visual culture, ethnography and early German cinema. New York, NY: Pagrave 2002.

Petrullo, Vincenzo. “Primitive Peoples of Matto Grosso, Brazil” The Museum Journal, XXII (1932). (This entire edition is a single ethnography written by Petrullo, and contains some notes on the expedition as well.).

Petrullo, Vincenzo. Uni (Water) A Journey to Matto Grosso (unpublished manuscript) 1940, Penn Museum Archives

Pezzati, Alessandro. “Where the wild things are: The Mato Grosso Expedition”, 1931. The Codex, Newsletter of the Pre-Columbian Society 10 (2002), 11.

Pezzati, Alessandro, and Darien Sutton. “The present meets the past: Edith and Sasha Siemel” Expedition 51, 6-8. 2009

Roxy Theater, “Matto Grosso, The Great Brazilian Wilderness,” advertisement, New York Times, 16 January,1933, 13. (Proquest).

Ruby, Jay “Franz Boas and early camera study of behavior”. Kinesics Report 1980 (Accessed October 1, 2009)

Ruby, Jay Picturing culture: explorations of film & anthropology. University of Chicago Press, 2000

“Some new films” New York Times, 1 April, 1933, 18. (Proquest)

Staples, Amy J. “Popular ethnography and public consumption” The Moving Image, 5 (2005) 50-78.

Staples, Amy J, “Safari adventure: forgotten cinematic journeys in Africa” Film History 18 (2006) 382-411.

Surugue, Bernard and Jean Rouch, eds. Alors le noir et le blanc seronts amis: carnets de mission, 1946-1951 Paris : Mille et un nuit. 2006.

“To make jungle talkies” New York Times, 20 November,1930, 34. (Proquest).

Tsirigos, Emmanuel, “The General Post Office Film Unit.” (accessed October 1, 2009)

History of Sound Recording and Reproduction in Film Bibliography

A century of sound: The history of sound in motion pictures, 1877–1932. DVD Produced by Robert Gitt, and the California Board of Regents, UCLA and the Rick Chace Foundation. 2007

Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences 1929. Fundamentals of sound recording and reproduction for motion pictures. Hollywood: Academy Technical Digest.

Engel, Friedrich and Peter Hammar. ” A selected history of magnetic recording”–Magnetic_Tape_History.pdf 2006. (accessed January 10, 2009)

Enticknap, Leo. Moving Image Technology– From Zoetrope to Digital. London: Wallflower Press. 2005.

ERPI gets a head start (accessed January 15, 2009).

Franklin, Harold B. Sound motion pictures from the laboratory to their presentation. New York: Doubleday Doran, 1929.

“George Groves and the history of sound recording” (accessed January 5, 2009).

George R. Groves interviewed by Irene Kahn Atkins, from the New York Times Oral History Program; The American Film Institute/Louis B. Mayer Oral History Collection, Part 1. No.19. 1973. (microfiche)

Green, Fitzhugh. The film finds its tongue. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1929.

Hanna, C.R. “The Mitchell recording camera, equipped interchangeably for variable area and variable density sound recording” SMPE 38 (1929) 312-317.

Hilliard, John K. “A brief history of early motion picture sound recording and reproducing practices.” Journal of the Audio Engineering Society 33 (1985), 271-8.

“History of magnetic recording” (accessed January 6, 2009).

Hochheisner, Sheldon. “AT&T and the development of sound motion-picture technology” In The dawn of sound, edited by Mary Lee Bandy. New York, NY.: Museum of Modern Art n.d.

Hoke, Ira B. “Mitchell camera nears majority” American Cinematographer 229 (1938), 495-522.

“John (Jack) T. Mullin (1913-99) recalls the American development of the tape recorder” (accessed December 15, 2008).

Kellogg, Edward W. “History of sound motion pictures, (first and second installments)” Journal of SMPTE 64 (1955) 291- 301 & 356-374.

Klapholz, Jesse. “The history and development of microphones” Sound and Communications Magazine (1986) (accessed January 9, 2009).

Lo Brutto, Vincent. Sound-on-film: Interviews with creators of film sound. Westport CT: Praeger, 1994.

O’Brien, Charles. Cinema’s conversion to sound. Bloomington: Indiana University 2005

Peden, Charles. Newsreel man. New York, NY: Doubleday, Doran 1932

Research Council, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Motion picture sound engineering.: New York, NY: Van Nostrund, 1938.

Sklaar, Robert Film: An international history of the medium. New York: Prentice Hall. 2002

Thrasher, Frederick, ed. Okay for sound…How the screen found its voice. New York, NY: Duell Sloan and Pearce, 1946.

“Victor” Time Magazine, December 20, 1926,9171,711531,00.html (accessed January 16, 2009).

Acknowledgements & Thanks

Acknowledgments: In addition to the noted contributions of Anthropologists Sylvia Caiube Novaes, Edgar Teodoro da Cunha and Dr. Greg Urban, the author wishes to thank the following film scholars and archivists for their contributions and support: Dan Friedlaender (Temple University), Dennis Doros (Milestone Films), Nick Pasquariello (Author), Karma Foley (Smithsonian Human Studies Film Archive), Elizabeth Weatherford (National Museum of the American Indian), George Willeman, (Library of Congress), Stephen Leggett (Library of Congress), Mike Mashon, (Library of Congress), Zoran Sinobad (Library of Congress), Leo Enticknap (University of Leeds), Joanna Poses (Film Archivist), Liz Coffey, (Harvard Film Archive), Josie L.Walters-Johnson, (Library of Congress), Pam Wintle (Smithsonian Human Studies Film Archive), Jenifer Baldwin (Temple University), Alan Stark, Ralph Sargent and Zac Fink (Film Technology Company, Inc), Mary Lou Neighbour (Film cataloger), Tom Regal (Bluwave audio), Jeff Lambert (NFPF) Ihsan Amantullah (NFPF), Stephen C. Leggett (Library of Congress), Rob Stone (Library of Congress) Todd Gustavson (George Eastman House), Jamie Berthe (New York University) Mike Condiff, and last but definitely not least, Alessandro Pezzati (Penn Museum).