The Idol Dancer

The Idol Dancer

Ben Grauer
Director: D.W. Griffith Cast: Ben Grauer
Ben Grauer
, Walter James
Walter James
, Adolphe Lestina
Adolphe Lestina
D.W. Griffith


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Even though this is a lesser D.W. Griffith film, the casting is intriguing. Richard Barthelmess, who usually played a "good boy," portrays Dan McGuire, a lazy beachcomber who likes his gin. The girl is Clarine Seymour, whose spirit was far earthier than Lillian Gish's, and whose talent was far more spontaneous than Carol Demptser, the star of most of Griffith's later films. Unfortunately, Seymour died later in the year (1920) at the age of 21, so her talent was never fully realized. The real problem with this film was its South Seas setting, which was very foreign territory for Griffith, since his brand of sentiment just didn't mix with primitive backgrounds. On this particular South Seas island lives Mary (Seymour) a dancing girl who has a French father and Javanese mother. Two men come along who vie for her heart: McGuire, the drunken bum, and Walter Kincaid (Creighton Hale), the invalid nephew of an island missionary (George MacQuarrie) who has come to the tropics for his health. Natives from a nearby island attack, and the nephew is heroically and conveniently killed. Mary confesses that she loves McGuire, who promises to reform. She, in turn, agrees to become civilized and which brings them together for the fade out.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/17/2019
UPC: 0089218827098
Original Release: 1920
Source: Alpha Video
Sound: [silent]
Sales rank: 48,463

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ben Grauer Native Boy
Walter James Chief Wondo
Adolphe Lestina Black Slave
Anders Randolf Blackbirder
Herbert Sutch Old Thomas
Richard Barthelmess Dan McGuire, the Beachcomber
Kate Bruce Mrs. Blythe
Thomas Carr Donald Blythe
Creighton Hale Walter Kinkaid
George MacQuarrie Rev. Franklin Blythe
Clarine Seymour Mary/Wite Almond Flower
Florence Short Pansy
Porter Strong Peter, a Native Man of the Cloth

Technical Credits
D.W. Griffith Director
Billy Bitzer Cinematographer
James Smith Editor
S.E.V. Taylor Screenwriter
Stanner E.V. Taylor Screenwriter

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