3 user 1 critic

The Idol Dancer (1920)

This D.W Griffith silent classic features a new music score by writer composer, Jim Roberge.



On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man murders his wife's lovers, escapes with his daughter to the South Pacific. A detective pursues him, joined by a young man who eventually falls in love with the daughter.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Carol Dempster, Richard Barthelmess, George MacQuarrie
America (1924)
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of a family caught up in the American Revolutionary War.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Neil Hamilton, Carol Dempster, Erville Alderson
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut
Way Down East (1920)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau
Scarlet Days (1919)
Adventure | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A romantic bandit named Alvarez, wanted for raids on the mining camps of the California gold rush in 1849, is reformed by the love of a good woman.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Eugenie Besserer, Carol Dempster
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Gum-chewing frizzy-haired gold-digger Marie Skinner cooks up a scheme with her lover Babe Winsor, a jazz hound, to fleece a portly, middle-aged real estate tycoon, William Judson. Marie ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Jean Hersholt, Phyllis Haver, Belle Bennett
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Young lovers in a French village are torn apart with the coming of the Great War.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Adolph Lestina
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Geoffrey, a young and impoverished writer, is desperately in love with Mavis, who lives at his boardinghouse and is also pursuing a writing career. Unable to marry her because of his ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Ricardo Cortez, Carol Dempster
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A family of Polish refugees tries to survive in post-World War I Germany. For a while it seems that they are making it, but soon the economic and political deterioration in the country begins to take their toll.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Carol Dempster, Neil Hamilton, Erville Alderson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A re-edited version of the 'modern' story from Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916).

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Mae Marsh, Robert Harron, Miriam Cooper
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp
Dream Street (1921)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Three men in London compete for the love of a dance-hall girl.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Carol Dempster, Charles Emmett Mack, Ralph Graves


Cast overview:
Walter Kincaid
Rev. Franklyn Blythe
Kate Bruce ...
Mrs. Blythe
Porter Strong ...
Rev. Peter
Anders Randolf ...
The Blackbirder
Walter James ...
Chief Wando
Thomas Carr ...
Donald Blythe
Herbert Sutch ...
Old Thomas
Adolph Lestina ...
Black Slave
Ben Grauer ...
Native Boy
Walter Kolomoku ...
Native Musician
Florence Short ...


A religious zealot and his nephew are thrown together on a South Seas Island with an alcoholic beach comber and a native dancer. A battle to see who will "civilize" whom ensues. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

21 March 1920 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fires of Love  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the making of both this film and The Love Flower (1920), filmed simultaneously in December 1919, D.W. Griffith and his cast and crew experienced rough seas while sailing on the yacht The Grey Duck from Miami to Nassau. Two persons were washed overboard and were rescued, but there was no food for three days. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Griffith's Worst?
26 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Idol Dancer, The (1920)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

One of two films D.W. Griffith made in Florida, this one is considered by many to be his worst feature and from what I've seen, I would agree. Set in the South Seas, a wild child native (Clarine Seymour) finds the visiting white folks tiresome because they keep trying to get her and her people to wear dresses of religious folks. One day a man (Richard Barthelmess) washes up on the beach and before long he gets a crash on the native girl but another preacher comes for a visit and grows a crush to. While these romances are going on, an evil white man is trying to stir up trouble with another native tribe of black men in hopes that he can get them to attack the other side for pearls. As you can tell, the story here is all over the place and never does it make any sense nor is it every clear what Griffith is going for. The film runs 102-minutes, which is about forty-two minutes too long. The entire story with the rival locals comes off very forced and the romance never blossoms, which is shocking because the director can usually pull that off with ease. The tribal dance done by Seymour is incredibly stupid and I have to wonder how much whiskey Griffith had before directing her. There are some good things though, including the scenery, which is downright beautiful. It's nice seeing the coastline of Florida before everything that's there now. Seymour is also very good in her role (outside the dance) bringing an innocence to the screen, which is quite refreshing. Griffith's other South Sea tale, The Love Flower is much better.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Idol Dancer (1920) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: