Film, Video Cake walk /

Format Film, Video
Dates 1903
Location United States
Language English
Subjects African American Dance
Cakewalk (Dance)
Dance, Black
United States
Cake walk /
Other Title
Coon cake walk
Darkey cake walk
Five African Americans--three men and two women--perform a cakewalk, a dance featuring fancy strutting that was named after the prize awarded in the original contests. The dancers wear rather formal attire, with the men in dark suits and black tie and the women in full-length, high-collared dark dresses; one woman carries a small American flag. As they step in place against a light background, the center male--holding up a top hat and twirling a cane--moves toward the camera and briefly performs some fancy steps. As he moves back, the man at the left end of the line does a quick twirling step and links arms with his partner. The other two dancers also pair off as the center male leads them in a strutting movement around the stage. When they return to the original line, all five step towards the camera with the center man slightly ahead of the others. The film ends just as they stop the cakewalk.
"An amusing cake walk, by a company of New York darkies who excel in this line of work"--Biograph picture catalogue.
Created / Published
United States : American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, c1903.
Subject Headings
-  Cakewalk (Dance)
-  Dance, Black--United States
-  African American dance
-  H31674 U.S. Copyright Office
-  Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 11May1903; H31674.
-  Original main title lacking.
-  Niver's Early motion pictures incorrectly credits the Americus Quartet as performers. Niver's credit for F.S. Armitage as cameraman cannot be confirmed in secondary sources.
-  Duration: 0:24 at 16 fps.
-  Biograph production no. 207.
-  Paper print shelf number (LC 0367) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
-  Additional holdings for this title may be available. Contact reference librarian.
-  Sometimes confused with Comedy cake walk, which LC also holds.
-  The AFI catalog erroneously gives copyright information and title for this film on the entry for Comedy cake walk.
-  Filmed at the Biograph New York City studio, April-May, 1898.
-  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
-  Sources used: Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 43; AFI catalog: film beginnings, 1893-1910; Biograph picture catalogue, Nov. 1902, p. 12; Biograph photo catalog, vol. 1, no. 207, viewed online via the New Jersey Digital Highway, July 11, 2014; Biograph production logs, 1896-1899; AFI catalog: film beginnings, 1893-1910.
-  Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.
-  35 mm dupe neg pic renumbered: FPE 7730 to FZA 1175.
viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (11 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (24 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (11 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (24 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
paper pos 1 roll of 1 (ca. 25 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.
paper pos (copy 2) 1 roll of 1 (ca. 25 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.
Call Number
FLA 3381 (viewing print)
FEC 2203 (viewing print)
FRA 0371 (dupe neg pic)
FZA 1175 (dupe neg pic)
Box 0126M (paper pos)
Box 5604D (paper pos, copy 2)
Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA dcu
Digital Id
varsmp 0367
Library of Congress Catalog Number

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