- Run Time: 1 hours, 32 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Released: September 17, 2019
- Originally Released: 1920
- Label: Alpha Video
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
On a remote island in the South Seas, the natives are torn between two opposing groups of white colonizers: the missionaries who wish to convert them to Christianity, and the slave traders who want to condemn them to eternal servitude. Unsure of her place among any of them is "White Almond Flower," a beautiful young white girl who was raised to believe she is one of the islanders. She is lusted after by Dan McGuire, a drunkard, and Walter Kincaid, the cowardly nephew of the head missionary. When the slavers take their cruelties too far, the natives revolt, attempting to destroy the island. Both McGuire and Kincaid see the uprising as a means to prove themselves as a suitable mate for White Almond Flower, but neither of them have ever been a hero...
To secure funding for his upcoming movie Way Down East (considered his "third masterpiece" after Birth of a Nation and Intolerance) legendary director D.W. Griffith agreed to quickly make several films he called "potboilers" for First National Pictures. One of these is The Idol Dancer, which Griffith completed in an astonishing 5 days of filming while waiting for his new studio in Mamaroneck, New York to finish construction. This rapid pace of production has led many to speculate that Griffith's assistant, Elmer Clifton, actually made the film while D.W. was working on The Love Flower (also part of the deal with First National.) However, leading man Richard Barthelmess stated a year before his death that Griffith did indeed direct The Idol Dancer. Chosen to star was 21-year-old Clarine Seymour, who had made an impression on Griffith the year before playing a free-spirited flapper in True Heart Susie (1919). Tragically, a few weeks after The Idol Dancer's release, Clarine took ill on the set of Way Down East, and died after being taken to Misericordia Hospital in New York, the cause given as "strangulated intestines." With her "modern" look and undeniable sex appeal, many believe that Clarine could have been as big a star as Clara Bow and Colleen Moore if she had lived. The Idol Dancer was shot in both Fort Lauderdale and the island of New Providence in the Bahamas. Movie magazines of the era claimed that Griffith and crew were lost at sea for three days while traveling from one to the other, but modern sources believe this to be most likely a story concocted for publicity.