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Glimpses of Java and Ceylon (1937)

Approved | | Documentary, Short | 6 March 1937 (USA)
A visit to the island of Java when it was part of the Dutch East Indies, and Sri Lanka when it was still called Ceylon.


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Uncredited cast:
... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)


This travelogue begins in Java, the Dutch East Indies. We see a panorama of light and street scenes in Batavia (Jakarta), Java's capital. These are quiet and peaceful people. We watch a restaurant serve rice table, and dancers perform the "nightmare dance." On to Ceylon, the crown jewel of Britain's empire, the crossroads of two hemispheres. We begin in Colombo and its lighthouse. The men are feminine in dress and manner. The women here have an easier time. Buddhism is the main religion: we visit temples. Then, we observe men with their water buffalo and elephants, bathing them often. We end at the shore by Mount Lavinia, the sun setting in the sea. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | Short






Release Date:

6 March 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Glimpses of Java and Ceylon: A FitzPatrick Traveltalk  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

3 February 2009 | by See all my reviews

Glimpses of Java and Ceylon (1937)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Another in MGM's long running TravelTalk series hosted by James FitzPatrick. This time we go to bot Java and Ceylon where we see various living conditions as well as popular tourist spots. As I've said in each one of my reviews, this thing certainly comes off very dated especially considering what we have on The History Channel and stations like that. One must keep in my when this was made and I'm sure in 1937 it was quite something being able to see another place in Technicolor. As for this short we get some beautiful shots of the ocean as well as a tribal dance in Ceylon where men with long hair do some sort of dance, which certainly looks like it was meant for women. The highlight is probably a sequence where men leave work early so that they can get to the local lake and take a bath.

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