5.8/10
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High Spots of the Far East (1933)

| Documentary, Short
Highlights include China's Pearl River, Temple of 500 Buddhas and Siam's palaces.

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This travelogue begins in Canton, China, located on the shores of the Pearl River, on which many of residents live on houseboats. The Temple of the 500 Buddhas houses statues of many of the Buddha gods to who the people request favors, indicated by the burning of incense. The next stop is Bangkok, Siam. Although travel by railroad has replaced the traditional travel by elephant, the white elephant is still considered a sacred animal. Porcelain and gold towers and statues of guards dot the residential palace. The next stop is Cairo, Egypt, the largest city on the banks of the Nile River and a city filled with mosques, minarets and domes. Ancient ruins and the great pyramids can be found just outside of the city. The next stop is Madras, India, whose residents are better educated than the average Indian. The next stop is Calcutta, India, where a marble palace honors the late Queen Victoria. The grounds of another palace, home to one of the richest Indian princes, is open to the public ... Written by Huggo

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palace | statue | siam | mosque | elephant | See All (19) »

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Documentary | Short

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World Adventures (1-reeler); Vitaphone #1429 (completed 1932) See more »

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Fair World Adventures
4 December 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

High Spots of the Far East (1932)

** (out of 4)

Fair entry in the early "World Adventures" series from Vitaphone is probably going to be unfairly judge (by myself included) as James A. FitzPatrick would turn out the same thing in future years in much better quality. Those TravelTalks shorts would also benefit from their Technicolor, which of course is missing here. The short takes us to various places in the Far East including various palaces in Siam, the Temple of 500 Buddhas in Japan and a visit to the Pearl River in China. The film might lack the Technicolor but the B&W cinematography is one of the real high points as the visual look of the film is quite nice. All of the places we visit actually look very good in their B&W but a few of the places, like Siam, were later visited by FitzPatrick and his crew. What doesn't work is the narration and some of the stuff we're told. We're given very little information on the places we visit and what we are told is often times laughable. For example, when we visit China we're told that what we're looking at is as "Chinese" as China can get. Oh, really? If you have eight-minutes to kill then this isn't too bad but this travelogue genre would get much better in future years.


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