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The Idol Dancer (1920)

 -  Drama  -  21 March 1920 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 41 users  
Reviews: 3 user

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


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Cast overview:
Dan McGuire
Clarine Seymour ...
Creighton Hale ...
Walter Kincaid
George MacQuarrie ...
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 <>

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 »

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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.

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