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Film, Video Latina, contortionist Title in Biograph production log: Latina, contortionist-act-with-rings

Digital viewing copy

About this Item


  • Latina, contortionist

Other Title

  • Title in Biograph production log: Latina, contortionist-act-with-rings


  • A woman wearing a light-colored leotard, gathered at the waist, and tights stands against a black background. Although she is filmed in a long shot, her feet are cut off in the frame. She opens with a flourish of her arms and faces the camera. First stretching up with her arms, Latina then bends in half at the waist, steps into a metal ring or hoop, and places her head in the ring as well. Still bent at the waist, she moves the hoop up past one shoulder and then the other, past her waist, and over her buttocks, finishing with her body completely free of the ring now held up behind her back. Latina repeats the contortion act in reverse, passing the ring down her doubled-up body and past her shoulders to the ground. She steps out of the hoop and gestures with her arm. Turning to face screen left, with her left side in profile, Latina places her hands behind her neck, bends at the waist until her head touches her legs, steps into the ring on the floor, and repeats her contortionist trick as above, first from the ground up and then back down. She faces the camera when finished, throws the audience a kiss, and gives a small bow. The film then cuts to a medium shot of Latina, from the bust up. She interlaces her fingers and holds out her arms in front of her with palms towards the camera, so that her elbows point out. In that position, she raises her arms over and behind her head, and then down her back, dislocating her shoulders in order to achieve that motion. The film ends as she turns her back to the camera.
  • "We see a woman in tights, attempting to maneuver her body through a hoop that seems too small. However, she does it since her body is double-jointed"--Early motion pictures.
  • "Mlle. Latina, whom Eugene Sandow characterizes as a type of "the perfect woman," is a more than ordinary contortionist, and saves a rather repellant specialty by the pleasant manner in which she performs her work. This little lady does her work in a clever and most finished style, her costumes are always bright, clean, and attractive looking. "--New York clipper, December 26, 1903.


  • Latina, performer
  • Bitzer, G. W., 1872-1944, camera
  • American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
  • Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
  • Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • United States : American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1905.


  • -  Acrobatics
  • -  Tricks
  • -  Shoulder joint--Dislocation


  • Filmed vaudeville acts
  • Silent films
  • Short films
  • Nonfiction films


  • -  H68883 U.S. Copyright Office
  • -  Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 21Nov1905; H68883.
  • -  Original main title lacking.
  • -  Duration: 0:55 at 16 fps.
  • -  Paper print shelf number (LC 0201) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
  • -  Additional holdings for this title may be available. Contact reference librarian.
  • -  This film does not appear under this title in the Biograph production log. It appears to have been shot at the same time as "Latina, dislocation act". "Latina, contortionist-act-with-rings," (Biograph production no. 3112) filmed on Nov., 15, 1905, may have been split into two films and copyrighted as: "Latina, contortionist" and "Latina, dislocation act".
  • -  Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 178; AFI cat.: film beginnings, 1893-1910; Biograph production logs; New York clipper, 12-26-1903, p. 5.
  • -  Camera, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer.
  • -  Performer: Mlle. Latina.
  • -  Filmed in the Biograph New York City studio, probably on Nov. 15, 1905.
  • -  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
  • -  Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.


  • viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (33 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (55 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (33 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (55 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
  • master pos pic 1 film reel of 1 (ca. 30 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • paper pos 1 roll of 1 (ca. 55 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.
  • paper pos (copy 2) 1 roll of 1 (ca. 55 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FLA 3215 (viewing print)
  • FEC 2131 (viewing print)
  • FRA 0539 (dupe neg pic)
  • FPE 7624 (dupe neg pic)
  • FRB 0365 (master pos pic)
  • Box 0776D (paper pos)
  • Box 5535D (paper pos, copy 2)


  • Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA dcu

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 96519699

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Bitzer, G. W., Camera, American Mutoscope And Biograph Company, Paper Print Collection, and Niver. Latina, Contortionist. performeds by Latina United States: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1905. Video.

APA citation style:

Bitzer, G. W., American Mutoscope And Biograph Company, Paper Print Collection & Niver. (1905) Latina, Contortionist. Latina, performer United States: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Bitzer, G. W., Camera, et al. Latina, Contortionist. performer by Latina United States: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1905. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.