This film is part of Free

Harold Defries Bar Mitzvah

Some serious moves can be seen by guests of all ages in his lovely film showing the Bar Mitzah celebrations of Harold Defries in London in 1960.

Amateur film 1960 9 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for London's Screen Archives


1960 was the year of the twist and that is one of many moves on display at this Bar Mitzvah celebration in London. It starts so politely, with guests in evening dress formally welcomed by a doorman in red tailed jacket. Things get busier when the guest of honour arrives and he’s dragged round the dance floor by an older relative. Soon, everybody’s dancing – young and old – with many showing off the recently introduced twist and others jiving, waltzing or just generally boogieing.