6.8/10
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15 user 11 critic

Legong: Dance of the Virgins (1935)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 15 November 1935 (USA)
In Bali, a young woman falls in love with a musician, but he may have eyes for her half-sister.
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Cast

Cast overview:
Poetoe Aloes Goesti Poetoe Aloes Goesti ... Poutou
Bagus Mara Goesti Bagus Mara Goesti ... Her father - Gousti Bagus
Saplak Njoman Saplak Njoman ... Her half-sister - Saplak
Njong Njong Njoman Njong Njong Njoman ... The boy - Nyong
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Storyline

In Balinese villages, pageant, dance, music, story-telling, and religion dominate the culture. Young women may be the aggressor in love, but disgrace befalls her whose choice rejects her. Poutou, a nubile maiden who dances at the temple, lives with her jovial father and lovely younger sister, Saplak. Poutou falls in love with Nyong, a musician new to the village. He returns her interest, so her father and she make plans for a marriage, and she arranges to perform her final temple dance. Then Nyong's eyes light on Saplak. How will each character react? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Different

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Dança das Virgens See more »

Filming Locations:

Bali, Indonesia

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bennett Pictures Corp. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A musical score that combines Western and Balinese musical traditions was composed in 1999 by Richard Marriott and I Made Subandi. It has been performed live at screenings for the film at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival twice, in 1999 and 2013. In both cases, it was performed by joint musical groups Gamelan Sekar Jaya and The Club Foot Orchestra. See more »

Connections

Featured in Love Island (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A culture that has NOT been destroyed!
30 May 2005 | by willev1See all my reviews

The main value of this enchanting film is the glimpse it gives us of Balinese village life and culture of 100 years ago. The film is well photographed and the Technicolor process in use then was more than adequate to the task of bringing out all the rich details.

Several reviewers have lamented about this "lost" culture, even suggesting that Hollywood and film audiences have played a part in its destruction. WRONG! The Balinese culture remains relatively intact today! This is due to the genius of the people in using modern technological when necessary and convenient without destroying the essence and magic of their vibrant cultural heritage.

So the great appeal of this film will be to those who visit Bali today and wish to compare their experience with these pictures of the past. There are some differences, of course. Most Balinese males now wear western attire and jeans "during the day" and may revert to more traditional sarong garb in the privacy of their homes "after work."

All the young ladies cover their breasts today, but this trend was already underway in the thirties when the film was shot. (However, one can still find in the villages very old ladies who disdain covering their upper bodies.) In the film all of the females are shown bare-breasted some but not all of the time. And they are beauties! (And one suspects the raison d'etre for the creation of the film may have been to exploit such pulchritude!)

So the pictures of village life in the film are accurate, and can be experienced today if one leaves the tourist areas and seeks out the rural hinterlands. The dances shown in the film are still performed on a regular basis (for a tourist audience, to be sure) but unchanged in content. Cock-fighting remains a very popular pastime. The religious rites and processions and cremation ceremonies have not changed at all. They are all well depicted in the film.

However, the writer of the screen play was obviously not a Balinese and his plot contrivances concerning romance and courtship are more European than Balinese. It is, for instance, almost unthinkable that a Balinese girl would kill herself over a failed "love affair" consisting mainly of a few amorous glances and a brief conversation or two! She would simply move on and pick another lover.

The writer also gets the religious thinking behind cremation all wrong. A Balinese MUST be properly cremated if the soul is to attain Nirvana, their equivalent of "heaven." An opposite view is posited in the film.

If you have no interest in Bali, forget this film. Otherwise, I think you will enjoy the experience.


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