The Idol Dancer
The Idol Dancer is a 1920 American silent South Seas drama film produced and directed by D. W. Griffith. It stars Richard Barthelmess and Clarine Seymour in her final film role. Seymour was a young actress Griffith was grooming for stardom. She died of pneumonia shortly after emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage on April 24, 1920, less than a month after the film premiered.
|The Idol Dancer|
|Directed by||D. W. Griffith|
|Produced by||D. W. Griffith|
|Written by||Stanner E. V. Taylor|
|Based on||"Blood of the Covenants"|
by Gordon Ray Young
|Cinematography||Paul H. Allen|
G. W. Bitzer
|Edited by||James Smith|
|Distributed by||First National Pictures|
|Language||Silent (English intertitles)|
The film is based on the story "Blood of the Covenants" by Gordon Ray Young. The scenario was written by Stanner E. V. Taylor.
Mary (Seymour) is the daughter of a French man and a Javanese mother and enjoys dancing. She has two lovers, one being a beachcomber (Barthelmess) who was tossed off a passing ship for failing to work and desires only to drink gin. The other is a sickly young American (Hale) who has come to the island in hope of regaining his health and is staying with his missionary uncle (MacQuarrie) and his wife (Bruce). Natives from a neighboring island attack. The beachcomber reforms and Mary comes to love him.
- Richard Barthelmess as Dan McGuire, beachcomber
- Clarine Seymour as Mary
- Creighton Hale as Walter Kincaid
- George MacQuarrie as Reverend Franklyn Blythe
- Kate Bruce as Mrs. Blythe
- Porter Strong as Reverend Peter
- Anders Randolf as The Blackbirder
- Walter James as Chief Wando
- Thomas Carr as Donald Blythe
- Herbert Sutch as Old Thomas
- Adolph Lestina as Black Slave
- Ben Grauer as Native Boy
- Walter Kolomoku as Native Musician
- Florence Short as Pansy
Griffith filmed exteriors for The Idol Dancer simultaneously with The Love Flower (1920), in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Nassau, Bahamas in December 1919.
A 35mm print of the film is preserved by the Cohen Media Group. 16mm prints of the film are held in private collections.
- Progressive Silent Film List: The Idol Dancer at silentera.com
- Vazzana, Eugene Michael (2001). Silent Film Necrology (2 ed.). McFarland. p. 479. ISBN 0-786-41059-0.
- Slide, Anthony, ed. (2012). D. W. Griffith: Interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. XXXII. ISBN 1-617-03298-0.
- "The Idol Dancer: Feature Entertains, but Will Not Impress". Motion Picture News. New York City: Motion Picture News, Inc. 21 (15): 3169. Apr 3, 1920. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- Wagenknecht, Edward (2014). The Movies in the Age of Innocence (3 ed.). McFarland. p. 87. ISBN 1-476-61764-3.
- (Slide, 2012 & p.XX)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Idol Dancer.|
- The Idol Dancer on IMDb
- Synopsis at AllMovie
- Stills at moviessilently.com