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Picturesque Udaipur (1939)

Approved | | Documentary, Short | 13 May 1939 (USA)
A visit to one of India's oldest cities.


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Uncredited cast:
James A. FitzPatrick ...
Narrator (voice) (uncredited)


A large lake is adjacent to the historic city of Udaipur in Western India. The lake is connected to a legend of a Maharana and a beautiful dancing woman and tightrope walker, whose lake grave-site is commemorated. Named after Udai Singh, Udaipur is one of twenty or more independent states in the area known as Rajputana. The lake also plays an important role in the day to day lives of the town's residents, each individual caste's place along the lake separated by walls. Caste and gender also factor into the labor conducted in the area. In the center of the city, the daily street life includes free roaming cows, musicians, and fabric dyers whose color of choice is red. In the suburbs each evening, the wild boars are fed, they who are considered sacred. The Hindu temple and the Maharana's palace are the focus of the city, highlighting the importance of religion and history in the culture of the people there. Written by Huggo

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Plot Keywords:

lake | india | wild boar | temple | palace | See All (14) »


Documentary | Short






Release Date:

13 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Picturesque Udaipur: A FitzPatrick Traveltalk  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)


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[first lines]
Narrator: We are in India. From one of the sumptuous palaces of His Highness, the Maharana of Udaipur, we gaze upon a picturesque lake, about which an interesting story is told. According to a popular legend, one of the reigning maharanas of Udaipur was in love with a beautiful dancing girl, who was also proficient in the art of tightrope walking. By way of diversion, he promised the young lady half of his kingdom, if she succeeded in walking over this lake on a rope that was suspended above...
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User Reviews

29 November 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Picturesque Udaipur (1939)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Nice entry in MGM's TravelTalks series has James A. FitzPatrick telling us the story of Udaipur, a city in India that's the home to a million and a half people. We start off learning about an old legend involving a tightrope walking female who was offered a place inside the mansion if she could walk across a rope stretched across a lake. Just as she was about to finish the job one of the man's "friends" cut the rope, which caused the woman to drown and we're told that her ghost could still be seen. From here we learn about the Hindu religion and the cows that freely roam the busy streets. We learn that in all cases the cow has the right of way no matter where it is. Also we learn about turbans and how the red ones are the most popular. Other subjects include the street musicians, how women do most of the hard labor and why bathing and washing in lakes is so important. Overall this is another pleasant entry in the series and if you're already familiar with it then you know the Technicolor is one of the best things as it perfectly brings the city to life. As usual we get some pretty good stories and even though I've seen dozens of TravelTalks shorts I do believe this was the first one to tell a ghost story.

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