Grace (Alice Joyce), daughter of a railroad executive, works as a telegrapher. She falls in love with railroad worker who rescues her when she is accosted by two tramps. She and the man telegraph her father asking to get married. He objects and rushes to the scene on a train. Somehow a train that is stopped in the railroad yard takes off down the tracks with no driver. Grace is alerted and runs outside and drives off in a engine. There are some interesting medium close-shots where she and the camera are jammed into the driver's compartment, and she is mostly silhouetted except when she leans out the window and looks behind her anxiously. She stops the runaway train by crashing her engine head-on into it (though we don't see that, just a bunch of steam in front of the engine. She jumps to safety before the crash, where she is found by her lover and her father and presumably all are reconciled. This appears to have been filmed while Joyce was still on the East Coast, according to IMDB the original release date was January 6, 1911 and the film also features William Clarence Rowe. German intertitles. Print viewed: online video on the EYE youTube channel
The Trail of the Pomos Charm (Kalem, February 8).--At the Indian melon feast Blue Day asked the hand of Drooping Eyes, the chief's daughter, but a few days later Nawona joined the tribe from a wandering Indian family. Blue Day transferred his affections. How he is the guardian of the pomo's charm, that always brings luck to the wearer, and when Dick, a lone prospector, whom she has met and fallen in love with, has no luck, she steals to Blue Day's wigwam and takes the charm. Through Drooping Eyes, Blue Day learns and follows. He arouses the tribe. They fall upon Dick at his camp and he makes retreat, getting wonderfully ahead of them. Nawona warns the white settlers and after numerous chases back and forth Dick clasps Nawona to her bosom. Whether Drooping Eyes forgave her fickle lover was not revealed. As may be seen from the story, it brings forth little that is remarkable or new, but the scenery, genuine Southern California, is splendid and appropriate. For this alone we forgive a great deal.
THE TRAIL OF THE POMOS CHARM.--On the occasion of the feast where our story starts, the Big Chief lifts the chesta melon on high. All assembled bow their heads. The chief throws the melon down and all eat of the broken parts. Drooping Eyes, the Chief's daughter, starts to leave the scene. Blue Day, an Indian brave, looks after her eagerly. Approaching the chief he tells him that he loves his daughter. The Chief calls the girl back and tells her that Blue Day wants her for his squaw. Signifying her pleasure and consent the Chief gives her to Blue Day and the happy couple each take a bit of the melon. A few days after the melon feast a wandering Indian family, including the beautiful maiden Nawona, joins the tribe. The Indian chief bids them welcome. Blue Day, who is in a group around the chief, stares eagerly at the sight of Nawona. Drooping Eyes, who is near at hand, watches Blue Day with jealous eyes. A few days later, while roaming over the nearby hills and plains, Nawona meets Dick, an unsuccessful mining prospector. Both are unconsciously drawn towards each other. During their friendly chat Dick informs Nawona of his ill success. She attempts to cheer him up when suddenly remembering the pomo's charm that hangs on a pole in front of the Big Chief's wigwam, she tells Dick she can help him. Returning to the village she finds the Indians are away on a hunting expedition and no one is in the vicinity of the Big Chief's wigwam. Looking all about her, she steals up to the pole, removes the charm and quickly takes her way back to where Dick is working. Handing the charm to the prospector she tells him it will surely bring him good luck. Nawona, however, did not get away with the charm unseen. The aroused jealousy of Drooping Eyes, on account of Blue Day's open admiration of the girl, caused her to constantly watch Nawona. Drooping Eyes arouses Blue Day who is still in camp and he follows after Nawona and sees her give the charm to Dick. Returning to camp he tells the Indians who have returned from their hunting expedition that Nawona has stolen their charm. A number of Indians are immediately sent out to attack Dick and recover the charm. Nawona, who, in the meantime as returned to the camp, learns of Dick's danger and goes to the nearest cattle ranch, tells her story and urges a company of cowboys to attempt Dick's rescue. Coming upon the prospector as he is sorely pressed by the attacking Indians, a sharp and short fight takes place. The cowboys eventually succeeding in driving the Indians off. Dick thanks the ranchmen for their aid and asks them how they knew of his trouble. They told him of the Indian girl's warning. Mounting behind one of the cowboys, they ride to find Nawona. The Indian girl, afraid to return to the camp, has awaited the cowboys at the ranch. Riding up to the corral, Dick dismounts, runs to the Indian girl, and taking both her hands to his, tells her that the charm did indeed bring good luck.
It is neither better nor worse than the usual Indian pictures. The principal interest is in the action and the fight.
The Lost Ribbon (Kalem, February 17).--Jenny did not want to marry Frank, but he must have been very persistent, for she seemed quite cross about it. Then her mother and father went away to the sick grandfather and left her in charge of the cabin. Dick came along and divided a ribbon with her. She dropped her half, and Frank found it, and when they were 'way off the other side of the mountains he showed it to Dick as proof that she was fooling him. The cowboys decided that Jenny herself should settle the dispute, though it was not possible to conceive just what Frank's contentions were. About this time the Snake Indians went on the war path. There is the situation: which would get to the cabin first. Of course one knew deep in his heart that the redskins would get the worst of it, but then one can never tell just what will happen on the way. When the did arrive they found Jennie up in the loft in a trunk and her little brother in a kettle hanging from the roof. Just how the Indians overlooked him is not understood, but that has nothing to do with the story, which went to show that Frank was a villain and Dick was the man for Jennie, all of which Frank acknowledged by restoring the lost ribbon.
THE LOST RIBBON.--Jennie, the pretty daughter of a hardy pioneer cattleman is admired by all of her father's cowboys, but she smiles only upon one. Dick, the best cowpuncher in the bunch, is her favorite. Seeing a pretty piece of ribbon with which Jenny has bedecked herself, Dick suggested that the ribbon be divided, she to keep one piece and he the other. The same morning on which this ribbon episode occurred the father started on the trail. Jennie while returning to the house loses her share of the ribbon, which was picked up by Frank, a rejected suitor. Knowing that Dick is favored by Jennie, Frank shows him the piece of ribbon and tells him that Jennie gave it to him. A lively quarrel follows, the two men being separated by the ranch boss, who suggests that the party of boys ride to the ranch cabin and learn from Jennie whether or not she gave the ribbon the Frank. While the quarrel about the ribbon is going on a band of Snake Indians have attacked the cabin. Jennie and her young brother bar the doors and windows and take refuge in the upper story. The cowboys arrive on the scene just as the Indians have broken down the door. A short and sharp battle takes place. The Indians are driven away and Jennie and her brother rescued. As the rescued and rescuers are gathered together Frank realizing his false position, confesses to Dick that he found the ribbon and hands it over.
Directed by Kenean Buel. AJ as Blanca, with Carlyle Blackwell. A copy of this film is available at George Eastman House (35 mm. preservation print), The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Nederlands Filmmuseum, Amsterdam (35 mm., 266 meters), and is available online from on the EYE youTube channel (Nederlands Filmarchives print)
Mexican Filibusters (Kalem, March 3)--This exciting film telling a story based on what purports to be a genuine incident connected with smuggling arms and ammunition across the Mexican border by the insurgents, is a fine production of its kind, and is sufficiently realistic in detail to be almost true. THE MIRROR cannot vouch for the scenic backgrounds--they may have been done in California, and anyhow there is no indication of the Rio Grand del Norte or any other river. However, we need not quibble over this point in so good a picture. The filibusters lead their supplies on a car and the train pulls out. One of the filibusters has turned traitor, and sold the news to the United States Secret Service, so that officers are on the train, but the hero and the leader's daughter are on board, and succeed in cutting out the car with the arms, while the officers are locked in the coach. A pack train is then landed and sent across the border before the officers arrive. The film is novel and timely and is sure to please.
MEXICAN FILIBUSTERERS.--Our story opens in the office of the Mexican Junta in a Texas town, not many miles from the border, presided over by M. Oliveres, supposedly the agent for the Mexican-American Fruit Co. Pedro, a young Mexican attached to the Junta, is in love with Blanca, the agent's daughter.
Arrangements have been made to run a quantity of fire arms and ammunition across the line to the Mexican insurgents. In loading a freight car with the contraband every patriot thereabouts takes off his coat and works with a will, all except Monte. Oliveres, coming on the scene and finding everyone working but Monte, upbraids the lazy fellow and threatens to strike him. This arouses the revengeful spirit of Monte, he sneaks away and advises the American authorities that the Mexican filibusterers are attempting to rush fire arms across the border. Although compelled to act on the information furnished by him the Secret Service men are disgusted with the traitor and look upon him with contempt. In the meantime Blanca, who suspected Monte's contemplated treachery, watches and sees him as he enters the office of the United States Secret Service. Quickly returning to the place where the ammunition is being loaded she warns the Mexicans and the train is ordered to pull out immediately. The Secret Service men arrive on the scene just as the train is leaving the station. Blanca's daring feat of uncoupling the car containing the ammunition and the transport of the contraband across the border make a thrilling ending.
An interesting film--the Mexican gun smugglers are the heroes, and the American officials also sympathize with them and treat the Mexican traitor with contempt. There are some fascinating shots of dirt streets and shops of a small California town (This Kalem film unit was based at Glendale, but I don't know if this was the location used in this film). Joyce performs her role competently, though she tends to smile nervously when she doesn't have business to perform. But there is plenty of business, however, including clambering around on top of a moving train in a tight skirt. Carlyle Blackwell looks dashing, but has trouble remembering where his wound is supposed to be.
Print viewed: 35mm reel at George Eastman House.
Also available: online video at Thought Equity
Willy (George Melford) is a cowboy who gets fired, and then teams up with an Indian to rob a train. He rescues Myrtle (Alice Joyce), who has been chased up a tree by a cow. She takes a liking to him, which the Indian notices. He apparently isn't crazy about the robbery scheme, and while Willy sets fire to the railroad trestle, the Indian rides over and informs Myrtle, and they rush to the scene. Myrtle throws away the dynamite just in time, and then tells everyone that Willy was the hero, and he is surprised to be rewarded. Very far-fetched plot and poor character motivation, but it is lighthearted and at least the picture is clear. Kalem manages to get a train into the film. German intertitles. Print viewed: online video on the EYE youTube channel
AJ as the rancher's daughter, with George Melford and Carlyle Blackwell A copy of this film is available at the Nederlands Filmmuseum, Amsterdam (35 mm., 262 meters). and is availalbe online.
Slim Jim's Last Chance (Kalem, April 14.)--There is interest in this film that stirs the hearts of the youngsters when they see the brave cowboys riding to the rescue of the trapped hero, heroine, and Slim Jim, the criminal, who are hemmed in by a swarm of red devils clothed in the stock Kalem costumes. Also, the story opens up well with the release of two men from prison--Tom, a "first-timer," played by George Melford, and Slim Jim, a young but hardened criminal, well interpreted by Carlyle Blackwell. After that the action is full of flaws in detail that do not, however, obscure the story. Tom gets work on a ranch and falls in love with the rancher's pretty daughter (Miss Joyce). Jim comes along and gets a job, too; steals money and is caught at it by Tom, who denounces him to the rancher in spite of Jim's retaliation in exposing Tom as an ex-convict. Tom is discharged and is followed into the hills by the rancher's daughter, only to run into a nest of Kalem Indians, who might have shot them easily if they had been better marksmen. Slim Jim now comes to the rescue, rides right through the party of savages unharmed and joins the beleaguered pair. Finally the galloping cowboys arrive and the Indians are popped over like rabbits. The final scene is excellent where the smiling Jim is given his liberty and Tom is reinstated by the rancher.
SLIM JIM'S LAST CHANCE.--The prison doors open and Tom Benton, a first timer, and Slim Jim, alias Red Davis, of the under world, are liberated. Tom learns that the prison door clings by being ceremoniously turned away wherever he applied for work. Slim Jim immediately on his release beats his way west. Eventually Tom goes west and finds work. Several months later Slim Jim gets a job at the same place Tom is employed. Slim Jim, being caught at his old tricks and exposed by Tom, reveals Tom's past.
The several thrilling scenes that follow show Tom's genuine manhood and gives Slim Jim an opportunity to prove that even the under dog has at least a spark of good lying dormant under the rough exterior.
No intertitles, it helps to read the plot synopsis, as the action is confusing at times and the indian raid is somewhat poorly staged. Joyce is vivacious as the daughter of the rancher who falls in love with one of the ex-cons. Print viewed: online video on the EYE youTube channel
AJ as Nancy Etheridge, with George Melford, Carlyle Blackwell and Frank Lanning.
Slabsides (Kalem, April 28.)--This Western film has the merit of genuine backgrounds that give reality to a meandering and ragged story. The acting is very good, however. The ranch lady (Miss Joyce) is in love with her foreman (George Melford), but flirts with an English tourist (Carlyle Blackwell), who is in love with some other lady. The foreman sees the Englishman kissing his sweetheart and thinks it is the ranch lady. So he starts away across the desert and she follows. We are told that she takes the wrong trail, but that doesn't seem to be correct, for the foreman finds her lost in the desert. Slabsides, an Indian (Frank Lanning), who has been in and our of several scenes, charged with horse stealing because he had borrowed an animal to ride to his squaw and baby, comes to their rescue and goes for help . But he is again charged with horse stealing, and eventually shot, although it would seem that his story of the two helpless persons in the desert would have been listened to, as a relief party had been organized and was even then searching for the couple. His death, therefore, has no direct bearing on the story.
SLABSIDES.--Jim Hillis, ranch manager, is jealous of Lord Verlane's attention to Nancy Etheridge, the young owner of N.E. ranch. Lord Verlane goes [sic?] security for the horse secured by Slabsides to visit his sick pappoose. Jim, believing that Verlance [sic] has won Nancy's love, decides to quit his job and so advises her by letter. The next morning Jim leaves. After receiving his note, Nancy rides after Jim to explain, but becomes confused regarding the direction he has gone and takes the wrong trail, leading to the desert. Slabsides finds Jim and Nancy in the desert and goes for aid, but on his arrival in town is held for failing to return the horse he has borrowed and is shot as a horse thief while trying to escape.
"Slabsides" (Kalem).--This Western story, whose greatest interest lies in the scenery, represents everything that is appalling in a desert. The Mojave Desert is shown in all its horror, including Dry Lake, that elusive spot which has appeared in mirages as clear, sparkling water to many a thirsty traveler. And more that one has died upon its brink when he found that it was hot, burning sand, and not water. As a scenic film this is interesting. The story has as much merit as many other Western pictures, but scarcely more. It is well acted.
AJ as Donna Maria, with George Melford.
The Loyalty of Don Luis Verdugo (Kalem, May 10).--The scenes of this picture are taken round Casa Verdugo, an old Spanish mansion of a hundred years ago in California during the cession of southern California to the United States. The story is well put on, costumed and rendered, but one feels inclined to quarrel (whether the incident is founded on fable or fact) with the young lieutenant for being so enamored with Dona Maria that he neglected his duty. One wonders that the other men did not remonstrate or the young officer suffer some punishment for not having the old Don Luis lower the Mexican flag. When the estate is attacked by Indians, Don Jose, the brother, refusing to call upon the American troops, Dona Maria goes and returns in time to prevent a disaster. Then the old don in gratitude places the United States flag in the place of the Mexican and gives his daughter to the young lieutenant. Alice Joyce is the Dona Maria and George Melford the lieutenant. George Melford makes a decided type of the character of Don Luis. It is well managed in every particular.
THE LOYALTY OF DON LUIS VERDUGO.--Lieutenant Malcolm, of the United States Army, arrives at the Casa Verdugo and reads the proclamation authorizing the occupation of Southern California by the United States Government. The Lieutenant orders all Mexican flags lowered and the United States emblem hoisted instead. Don Luis Verdugo, a feeble old Spanish grandee, unreconciled to the American occupation, refuses to allow the lowering of the Mexican flag. His daughter, Dona Maria, intercedes with the American officer, who temporarily allows the flag to wave. Struck with the brilliant beauty of the little signorita the Union officer falls a slave to her charms and the attachment seems mutual. Don Luis, however, refuses to allow his daughter to receive the attentions of the American officer.
Six months later Cohuilla Indians attack the hacienda of the Verdugos and while the family and servant are hard pressed, Dona Maria rides to the Union post for help. Lieutenant Malcolm and a company promptly respond, easily beating the Indians off and effecting a rescue. Don Luis, recognizing his obligation to the gallant Lieutenant, surrenders to the Stars and Stripes.
The setting is picturesque, much of the action taking place around a house more than 100 years old. The Girl's ride for help and the soldiers' ride to the ranch are features which rouse enthusiasm in the audience.
AJ as Molly, with George Melford.
The Carrier Pigeon (Kalem, May 24).--Thrilling scenes very well managed, except in one particular, are shown in this fairly plausible picture of Western life. It might have been more plausible, perhaps, if the robbers who attacked the wagon loaded with bouillon had been white men instead of Indians, although the Indian attack may not have been impossible, and certainly gave more opportunity for picturesque method of fighting by circling around the overturned wagon, where the driver (George Melford) lay defending himself. His defense, however, for the period of time indicated did not carry conviction. The Indians would hardly have held back so long, all of which could have been avoided had he released the carrier pigeon in his wagon at the first sign of attack. The pigeon flew to the man's sweetheart (Miss Joyce) and she summoned cowboy aid, the men riding hard and fast to the rescue and arriving, of course, "just in time." The pigeon incident was naturally introduced by showing that he had been in the habit of taking pigeons with him for practice flights.
THE CARRIER PIGEON.--Molly, while among her favorite pigeons, is approached by Jack, whose boldness receives a just rebuke. Two months later Jack agrees to take Molly's pet pigeon for a practiced flight and makes the most of the opportunity. A few days later Jack, while driving his team, comes across a half-breed Indian, who is unmercifully beating his horse. Jack stops the Indian's cruel treatment of the pony and chastises the half-breed. In revenge the Indian plans to raid the bullion wagon. Jack, starting out on his trip to the smelter, takes Molly's pigeon for a long flight. While on his way he is ambuscaded [sic] by the Indians. Jack puts up a good, stiff fight, but the odds are against him. As a last resort he scribbles a message on a piece of his handkerchief and attaches it to the pigeon and sends the bird on its way. The message is delivered. Molly quickly organizes a rescue party, which rides to the rescue, arriving just in the nick of time.
Love of Summer Morn (Kalem, June 9).--The idea at the base of this story is not new--the self-sacrifice of an Indian girl who found herself snubbed as the wife of a white officer and went back to her tribe and suicide, but it is presented in a new way, at times quite poetical, and at other times showing a lack of any fine sense of the probabilities. This defect is most pronounced in the last scene, where we see the officer sitting down to lunch with is white wife immediately after having seen the dead body of the Indian girl carried by. It seems inconceivable that one who had loved so strongly that he braved the sneers of the women at the army post when he first took his Indian bride among them, and who only married the white girl after he had been deceived into believing that his Indian wife had died on her return to her tribe, would have recovered his self-possession so easily after finding that the Indian girl was alive and had drowned herself on seeing him married again. A touch of sentiment might have been introduced here if he had been allowed to mourn the death of the first wife, with the tender sympathy of the second. The love scenes between the officer and the Indian girl, the cold reception at the army post, the return of the girl to her Indian home, and the later meeting of the two were finely handled and acted.
THE LOVE OF SUMMER MORN.--A threatened Indian uprising sends the 13th Cavalry into camp. While scouting through the country a small party of soldiers drive their horses into a pool, thereby unwittingly profaning a sacred Indian spring. This incident takes place while the beautiful Indian girl Summer Morn is close to the spring. Calling her father, a strong protest is made against the sacrilege by the palefaced soldiers. Lieutenant Bob, in charge of the scouting party, falls in love at first sight with the beautiful Indian girl. Pressing his suit, he finally gains the consent of her father to their marriage. The regiment, returning to headquarters, Bob's Indian wife is ostracized by the women of the post. Recognizing the unfortunate position Bib is placed in, Summer Morn, although dearly loving her husband, steals away to her own people. Big Bear, her father, hides her and leads Bob to think she is dead.
Two years later Bob woos and wins Ruth. A camping honeymoon trip brings them into the Indian country. Accidentally meeting Summer Morn, Bob's old love instantly returns. The Indian girl, however, sends him away, and to make her sacrifice complete, throws herself into the sacred spring.
RECKLESS REDDDY REFORMS (KALEM)
Kalem is doing some wonderful work. There is no doubt about that. They are known in many places as the film without a studio. It is a firm belief of the directors of the Kalem Company that nature unadorned is the true handmaiden of the moving picture. In the matter of selecting artistic landscapes, the Kalem Company may be said to have arrived. It is quite certain therefore that anything they do, whether it be comedy or drama, is going to be a pretty thing to look at, for the reason that there is someone behind their camera who has an eagle eye for the eternal fitness of things.
Reckless Reddy Reforms is billed as a Western comedy, which is literally true. In brief, the story tells of how a wild but goodhearted cowboy was reformed from his bad habits of drinking and smoking and carousing by the seemingly mild interest and the hazel eyes of a Western prairie flower, who happens to be waiting table (temporarily) at the village restaurant at the opening of the story. The only chance that Reddy has to win this pretty waitress is to foreswear everything that life seems to hold good to a bachelor. This was made all the harder for him to do by the connivance of his cowboy companions, who did their best to make him fall off the water-wagon, after having mounted to a very conspicuous seat. They, likewise, tantalized his nostrils with whiffs of the sweet cigarette to which he had said good-bye. The agony poor Red went through for the sake of winning such a sweet creature as Patricia Muggins was enough to make him deserving of anything. "Only the brave deserve the fair," likewise, "Faint heart ne'er won fair lady." Thus it transpired that while his companions were having all manner of fun with him, Reckless Reddy was getting the inside track and none of them realized until they saw him leading he away from the Judge's office as a bride upon his arm that patience and perseverance conquereth all things.
RECKLESS REDDY REFORMS (July 10th).--It is pay-day at the Lone Star outfit and the usual thing occurs. The boys headed by Reckless Reddy go to town. Shortly after their arrival in the little border city, Reckless Reddy sees Patricia Muggins, the new waitress, entering the door of the Palace restaurant. Reddy suddenly discovers he his hungry, but as he is about to enter the food palace some of the boys grab him and insist that he come with them. Getting away, however, a few minutes later he returns to the restaurant and orders a meal. While being served by the new waitress foxy Cupid safely lodges his arrow. Discovering Reddy's disappearance the boys go in search of him, but fail to find the daring Reddy. After their departure from the restaurant Patricia tells Reddy she is glad he doesn't drink like the other cowboys. Seeing that he has made a good impression and for fear she will find him out if he lingers, he quickly takes his departure. Back at the ranch house that night the boys note the change in Reddy. Thinking to cheer him up one of them offers him a drink, which he declines with thanks. The next day Reddy again visits the Palace restaurant. After finishing his meal he rolls and lights a cigarette. Patricia tells him she doesn't like a fellow who smokes cigarette. This forces Reddy to discard his after dinner pleasures. That night at the ranch he unconsciously pulls his cigarette papers and pouch of tobacco from his pocket and starts to roll a smoke. Jist as he is about to place it to his lips he thinks of Patricia's statement and hands the cigarette papers and tobacco to one of the other boys. This causes a lot of fun at Reddy's expense. During the following days the boys are very much mystified at Reddy's conduct and they decide to trail him when he next leaves for town. Having made an appointment to meet Patricia, Reddy fixes himself up in a new suit of store clothes and starts for the restaurant trailed by the entire ranch outfit. The boys are dumbfounded when they see Patricia and Reddy come out of the restaurant together, walk rapidly to the office of the Justice of the Peace, who, as the boys discover by peeking through the window, quickly marries the happy pair. Reddy takes Patricia to a little home he has prepared in the town and they settle down for a happy existence. That night the boys push a box of cigars through the open window. Patricia sees the action, takes the box, opens it and presents a cigar to Reddy, whose reform she now declares complete.
THE BADGE OF COURAGE.--Little Tom, who has inherited a terror for the sea, faints when his father tries to take him into the surf. Fifteen years later Tom finds that time has not overcome his terror. Meeting Jane Mayfield, they become acquainted and afterward betrothed. A few days later, Tom, much against his will, allows Jane to persuade him to join her merry party to the sea shore. While in bathing, Jane is carried out to sea by the undertow. At her cry for help Tom rushes to the water's edge, but his old terror renders him helpless. A number of bathers quickly go to the rescue of Jane. When brought ashore and revived she calls Tom a coward and orders him from her presence. A few days later Tom calls at her home to offer an explanation, but not finding her there, he asks permission to write her a note. While writing the telephone rings. He learns that Jane is at the other end of the telephone at her father's office, locked in and that the building is on fire. Mounting his motorcycle he rushes to the building, breaks in the door, and at the risk of his life carries her through the flames and to safety. The next day, calling at Jane's home, explanations take place and the past is forgotten.
Directed by Kenean Buel, with Carlyle Blackwell. A copy of this film is available at the National Film and Television Archive (London)
By the Aid of a Lariat (Kalem, July 21).--This is a thrilling story of the Indian and cowboy sensational sort, without much plot, but with a novel, exciting situation that is very well carried out. A family of pioneers, traveling the wilderness in a wagon, stop for rest, and a girl goes for water. She is beset by Indians, and is saved by a cowboy, who throws his lariat across a canyon, and on this slender cord she crosses to safety. When the Indians try to follow, the lariat is cut. The cowboy then rides for help, and with other cowboys drive the Indians from the settlers' camp. Of course, his reward is the girl, in some scenes the canyon appeared deep enough, but in others it was not discernable in the photograph, although it was no doubt there. Some of the details were confusing as to the period when the attack was supposed to happen. The pioneers in an emigrant's wagon, and the hostile Indians would seem to refer to some time some years back but the Indians (one at least) were armed with repeating rifles and the girl wore divided skirts.
BY THE AID OF A LARIAT. (July 21)--A pioneer family traveling over the hills in a prairie schooner, go into camp for the night. An Indian scout, who from an adjacent hill has noted the preparations of the pale face for camping, sees a chance for plunder. Signaling the Indian camp, a raid is planned. In the meantime May rides to the spring for fresh water, but just as she is about to scoop up a pailful of the clear, cool spring water Indians appear. Dropping her pail, she quickly mounts her horse and rides for dear life. Reaching an eminence, she sees across a deep canyon Lariat Jim, a horse herder, to whom she signals for help. Jim signals May to ride up to a point where the canyon becomes narrow. Arriving at this place Jim throws his lariat across to May, who fastens it to a tree and performs the thrilling feat of crossing hand over hand on the lariat to the other side of the canyon, Jim with his handy gun covering her retreat. The Indians attempting to follow, Jim cuts the lariat and takes May upon his horse and rides to a nearby cattle ranch, where a posse is quickly organized. Riding to the pioneer's camp the rescuers arrive in time to save May's family from the Indians, who have made a vicious attack on the little party that is bravely defending the prairie schooner, their portable home.
The Indian Maid's Sacrifice (Kalem, July 28).--This film ranks as a notable production. It is based on an old legend of mission days in southern California and is produced with backgrounds exactly suited to the theme. The Indians appearing in the picture are said to be descendents of the original tribe referred to in the legend. A Mexican young man rescues from bandits an Indian girl and places her in charge of the mission priest. The girl's gratitude turns to love, but her rescuer is betrothed to a young woman of his own race and the love is hopeless. A half breed also loves the Mexican girl and, being repulsed, plots to kill his successful rival. He would do the deed at the annual dagger dance, when the Mexicans would be spectators of the Indian festivity. The Indian girl at the mission learns of the plot, dresses as a boy, performs the dagger dance as a partner of the plotter, and as the latter prepared to plunge his dagger into the body of the unsuspecting spectator she kills him. She then becomes a nun and is saved from the Indians by the power of the church and the priest.
THE INDIAN MAID'S SACRIFICE. (July 28)--During an attack on the Matellja Indian village, Wana, a beautiful Indian girl, is captured. Don Pablo, a Mexican gentleman, rescues Wana and places her in the care of the old padre at San Luis Rey Mission. Two months later, Wana again meets her rescuer. Romero, a half breed, is rejected by Rubia, Don Pablo's sweetheart. Out of revenge Romero urges the Indians to rise and exterminate the mission settlement. Romero plans to kill Don Pablo during the dagger dance at the annual harvest festival. Wana, disguised as a boy, accepts Romero's challenge to the dagger dance, and saves Don Pablo's life. After the tragedy Wana reveals her identity to the Padre and tells him it was love and gratitude for her rescuer that induced the deed. The Indians, seeking the life of the boy who killed Romero, are stopped at the door of the church by the old Padre, who tells him "The crime was committed before the church portals, it is for the church to punish."
This story is founded upon an early legend of San Luis Rey Mission told by the Indians of Paula. The exterior shows the mission as it stands today. While the interior is an exact replica even to the reproduction of the crude Indian designs and paintings on the wall. The scenes about an old Spanish house were taken at Gunga Ranchero, an old Spanish home four miles from the Mission. This old house is one of the historical landmarks of Southern California and has been in the hands of the original family from the time it was built until the present day.
Directed by Kenean Buel. AJ in a bit part, with Jane Wolfe and Carlyle Blackwell. A copy of this film is available at the National Film and Television Archive, London
THE MEXICAN JOAN OF ARC.--Senor Talamantes and his sons are arrested as Insurrection suspects. Colonel Cephis, of the Mexican regular army, condemns them to death without trial. The Widow Talamantes swears retribution for the unjust death of her husband and sons. Carrying out her plans, the widow organizes a company of Indians and Mexicans and joins the Insurrectos. The Widow Talamantes sends a disguised Insurrecto in to Colonel Cephis' headquarters, who induced the Colonel to spend the night in a small Mexican hotel. The next morning Colonel Cephis awakes to find the town in the hands of the Insurrectos. While attempting flight he is ambuscaded by the Widow Talamantes and her little band of Insurrectos and captured. A drum-head court martial quickly condemns him to death. The widow's mission being completed, she returns to her people.
Over the Garden Wall (Kalem, Aug 2).--This title was used not so long ago by the Vitagraph. The story is entirely different, however. It is as pleasing and as pretty a little romance as one would care to witness, being expressively and delicately unfolded. One finds the puppy and the cat a delightful addition to the cast, quite mindful of artistic values. Carl is invited to take care of his uncle's estate, while he is away in Europe, but to look out for the old maid next door. Aunt Tabathia, the aforesaid old maid, also leaves her house. The result is not hard to imagine. The puppy that Carl has lately acquired wanders into the neighboring garden and offends the cat and the damosel concerned. A series of letters follow, in which are mentioned grouchy old bachelors and dogs and wrinkly old aunts with beribboned cats are mentioned. The two eventually find out their mistake, and the cat and puppy lie in the same basket and the man and the maid also express mutual agreement and a little more perhaps.
OVER THE GARDEN WALL. (August 2)--Carl receives an invitation from his old bachelor uncle to come and make his home at the uncle's country place while he is away on a visit. He warns him against the cranky old maid who lives next door. Miss Tabithia, going away to visit her sister, warns her niece, Nellie, to look out for the mean old bachelor next door. Carl arrives with his fox terrier pup. The dog is on an exploring expedition locates the cat next door, which he promptly trees. Nellie resents the pup's visit and writes a note to her neighbor, telling him to keep his dog at home. The next morning Carl replies and a quarrel takes place over the garden wall without each other's identity being disclosed. The pup makes another visit. Carl, searching for his dog, discovers he has a charming neighbor. The next day the kitten goes visiting and is returned by Carl with the natural consequence. Carl and Nellie become friends with the usual result, the young people are betrothed.
PEGGY, THE MOONSHINER'S DAUGHTER (Aug. 7).--The Internal Revenue office having repeatedly failed to locate the moonshiner's still in the mountains, calls in a man from another district, who is unknown to the neighborhood. This duty falls on young Hatfield, who is sent into the mountains to locate the troublesome moonshiner. While wandering though the mountains Hatfield meets Peggy, the moonshiner's daughter. Two weeks later, Hatfield and Peggy find themselves mutually attracted to each other. Peggy tells her father, Seth Hardy, of the stranger she had met and her father warns her to keep away from him. Hatfield eventually discovers Hardy's still and arranges to capture the moonshiner. Peggy by chance sees Hatfield's badge and learns that he is a revenue officer, but this information comes too late. When Hatfield learns that the moonshiner is the father of Peggy, he personally captures Hardy and destroys the still. Then for love of Peggy, Hatfield permits Hardy to escape and persuades him to give up the still for his daughter's sake.
THE WASP (Aug. 14).--Susanne is hurt at her husband's indifferences and seeks consolation in an innocent flirtation with a young artist. Circumstances seem to combine to make her lark with the artist Redfern assume a serious aspect. Bernice Tesselver is a woman of thirty who has missed the great love of a woman's life and whose disposition has been hardened and soured until she has become known to the family as the Wasp. Redfern learns of the Wasp's arrival at the home of Susanne and the Wasp learns of Susanne's folly and determines to save her. Carrying out this plan the Wasp intercepts a note and realizes that she must act quickly. Redfern recognizing Susanne's position decides to appeal to the Wasp by arousing the woman in her, but as the best laid plans of mice and men often miscarry, Redfern discovers that the Wasp is the woman he loves after all and Susanne eventually finds comfort and safety in her husband's arms.
Don Ramon's Daughter (Kalem, Aug 23).--A powerful dramatic situation is well worked up to and as well handled in this fine picture, made in and around an old mission of Southern California. Don Ramon's daughter married against his will. The young husband died, and the wife, also near death, left their girl at the mission, and died without revealing her identity. The baby was adopted by a wealthy family, and raised as their daughter. Now comes Don Ramon into the story. He arrives as a guest, and when he sees his grandchild her resemblance to his banished daughter affects him like a spirit from the grave. The girl's identity is established, and her grandfather would gladly take her to his heart, but she spurns him for the wrong done her mother. At this point the scenario writer ran out of ingenuity and solved the riddle by the cheap and easy method of having Don Ramon save the girl from Indians, receiving his death wound in the fight. The cast of the play was given at the commencement of the film, when it would require committing to memory to be of any value. At the end it would have been acceptable.
DON RAMON'S DAUGHTER. (August 23)--Manetta, daughter of Don Ramon de Savilio, a wealthy Spaniard, is in love with Carlos, a poor troubadour. Declining to give up her sweetheart, Manetta is driven from home. Manetta's baby is adopted by Donna Loretta. After a lapse of sixteen years we find Donna Loretta's son Francisco in love with his adopted sister. Don Ramon, who has spent several years in travel, writes to his old friend, the father of Francisco saying he has returned to sunny California and will call at his house in a few days. Arriving at the home of Don Jose di Garcia, his old friend, he meets his grandchild, Carlotta, in whom he sees the likeness of his dead daughter. Explanations take place, but Carlotta spurns the old man on account of his treatment of her mother. A few days later Don Ramon saves his granddaughter from a wandering band of Yaqui Indians and eventually secures forgiveness of the orphan girl.
Directed by Kenean Buel, with Judson Melford, Carlyle Blackwell, William Herman West, Jane Wolfe, Robert Chandos, Frank Lanning and George Melford. An copy of this film is available at the Library of Congress (35 mm.--they list as incomplete but it seems to play with no notable omissions)
On the Warpath (Kalem, Sept. 1).--The best scene in this Indian frontier story is the one where the young trapper and the Indian brave, each behind a tree, try to shoot each other. The trapper wins and is thus able to rescue little Bobbie, who had secretly remained behind when the settlers fled to the stockade on the appearance of hostile Indians. Little Bobbie's escape from the redskin also offered numerous amusing as well as interesting scenes. But the stockade was rather flimsy in appearance and the bunch of Indians huddled together making an assault in force was not according to Indian tradition.
ON THE WARPATH (Sept. 1).--James Newcomb and Jim Ward, two old settlers seated in front of Newcomb's log cabin, are discussing their fights with the Indians when the cabin was first built. Bobbie Newcomb's nine-ear-old son, listens with rapt attention. Going to the house and getting a gun, little Bobbie shows the old timers how he would defend the cabin from an Indian attack. The following day Dick Lathrope, a half-breed trapper, brings word that the Indians have arisen during the absence of the troops. Preparation for flight are made by Bobbie's parents. What household goods they can carry with the family are bundled into the prairie schooner and the team starts on the dead run for the nearest military post. Just as they are about to drive away from the cabin Bobbie throws out a gun and unseen by the other occupants of the wagons drops to the ground in his determination to stay behind and defend the cabin.
Shortly after the family drives away the Indians appear. Little Bobbie opens fire and beats a hasty retreat.
Safely arriving at the fort, the Newcombs discover Bobbie's absence. Dick Lathrope volunteers to go back for him and arrives in time to rescue Bobbie from a perilous situation.
This film bears the subtitle: "How Bobbie defended the cabin from the Indians." This is somewhat misleading, since he immediately abandons the cabin and is chased all over the place. An implausible story, but quick and action-packed, with some apparently unscripted excitement as one of the wagon horses refuses to enter the stockade and rears and struggles while they try to go on with the scene. Joyce has a relatively small part as the daughter of the household, in a shapeless prairie dress and apron. She appears mostly in the background looking worried, or, none to convincingly, holding her head in dismay (as does Jane Wolfe, who also spends a lot of time wringing her hands). Carlyle Blackwell appears as the hero who rescues the boy but doesn't get the girl.
Print viewed: 35mm reel at the Library of Congress.
THE BRANDED SHOULDER (August 28).--Clay Barton, a poor young ranchman, decides to leave his motherless baby in a foundling asylum for adoption and that he may recognize it again in later years he decides to brand the baby's shoulder. The branded baby is adopted and named Lillian by the Winthrops, a wealthy couple who have recently lost their little child, with the understanding that the father is not to know where it goes. Twenty years later an accident to Lillian Winthrop's automobile brings about a meeting with Ivor Thaine. Eventually Lillian and young Thaine are betrothed much to the displeasure of Jessica Jurdy, Mr. Winthrop's niece and ward, who has developed more than a liking for Lillian's sweetheart. A few days after the betrothal Mr. Winthrop succumbs to an attack of heart disease and as no will is found Lillian is supposed to inherit the entire estate. Jessica while searching her uncles desk shortly after the funeral finds a letter indicating that the adoption of Lillian was not legal. She consults a lawyer and learns that Lillian cannot inherit the property.
Clay Barton, who is now wealthy, seeing an advertisement of the sale of the Winthrop estate, decides to bid in the property, knowing it is the home of his daughter, having obtained through a clerk of the foundling asylum a record of the adoption. Arriving at the Winthrop home the day of the sale Clay learns of Lillian's true situation and quickly makes his claims known. Young Thaine shows his manhood by reiterating his love for Lillian, although the Winthrop property is not to be hers.
When Two Hearts are Won (Kalem, Sept. 6).--This adaptation from Sidney Drew's well-known sketch makes an amusing picture comedy and is cleverly done, but it cannot be said to outshine many other film comedies of less pretension. It tells a story of a bridal couple on their wedding journey. The wife is of domineering disposition, wanting to boss the job and flying into a temper on the smallest occasion. When she is put off the train on account of her pet dog she wants all of the railroad men discharged. Her husband, at first docile, turns like the worm and asserts himself after the fashion demonstrated by Shakespeare in The Taming of the Shrew. The dog goes into the soup and the husband assumes command of the household, after which wifey becomes as meek as a lamb. The picture was well staged.
WHEN TWO HEARTS ARE WON (Kalem). When an actor of the standing of Sidney Drew lends his distinguished talents to the photography the event is notable, and then, when the vehicle in which he makes his appearance is no less than one of his own successful sketches which has delighted audiences on two continents, "When Two Hearts Are Won," our respected attention is at once commanded. This sketch might; with no great stretch of imagination, be termed a modern version of "Taming of the Shrew." Alcibiades Shamley marries Cassandra, a beautiful young girl with a temper and a determination to have her own way with things in general, also she is devoted to a pet dog of diminutive proportions, called Cara.
After the wedding the pup is prepared for the bridal tour with great ceremony, but the rules of the Pullman Car Company forbid dogs being carried on their coaches, so the Shamleys are put off the train. At the hotel accommodations are refused because of a rule against dogs, but the Shamleys manage to find a resting place in the Railroad Hotel by bribing the clerk to admit the dog.
Here the pup makes trouble by chewing up the maid's hat.
During these events Alcy has been getting telegrams from his wife's folks warning him against her violent temper, the last one being from her Uncle David which advises Alcy to give her some of her own medicine. Previous events convince Alcy that it is now time to assert himself, so he takes Uncle David's advice and starts in to mix things up on the pretense that the pup has swallowed his collar button. By the time he has wrecked the place Cassandra is completely subdued and asks Alcy's forgiveness.
The appearance of Mr. Drew in pictures marks a further step in advance in the progress of the photoplay. Though serving his apprenticeship on the legitimate stage, he early elected to cast his lot with vaudeville, in which field he has gained a reputation and a position equal to that held by his distinguished brother John Drew, the dramatic star. To many patrons of the pictures his features will be familiar. His performance before the camera could not have been more satisfactory had he served a long apprenticeship in the picture studio.
Good photography and snappy action throughout make this picture one of the most interesting of next week's licensed releases and a feather in the cap of the Kalem Company.
WHEN TWO HEARTS ARE WON (Sept. 6).--Alcibiades Shamley and Cassandra, a sweet young girl, with a very bad temper, are married. After the wedding Cassandra prepares her pup, Cara, for the wedding journey. The Pullman car porter discovers the dog in the car and Alcy and his bride are promptly put off. She wires her uncle, the vice-president of the road, asking that all the employees of the railway be discharged as Cara has been insulted. Reaching their first stopping place, Alcy is informed that no dogs are allowed. Cassandra insists she will keep the dog and they start out for another hotel. Alcy finally bribes the clerk of a railroad hotel to permit them to keep the pup. They are hardly safely landed, however, before the pup causes trouble. The cap the climax he makes a meal of the maid's new hat. In the meantime, Alcy has been receiving a series of telegrams from his wife's relatives, all in the same vein. The last one is a dandy: "Take my tip. A six-barred fence isn't in it with Cassandra's temper. Some of her own medicine will cure her.--Uncle David." As Alcy finishes reading this interesting message, the maid demands pay for the had the pup has destroyed. This is more than Alcy can stand, and he proceeds to make things lively generally, winding up by accusing the pup of swallowing his collar button. Alcy throws the dog into the soup tureen, and starts on a general rampage. Cassandra picks up her uncle's telegram and sees a light. Stopping her husband in his mad career, she begs him to forgive her and obediently admits she is conquered.
Directed by Kenean Buel, with George Melford, Carlyle Blackwell, William Herman West, Frank Lanning A copy of this film is available at the Library of Congress (35 mm.)
When he Sun Went Out (Kalem, Sept. 8).--The pivoted (sic) incident of this thrilling Western Indian story is an eclipse of the sun, which is made to serve as the means of securing the escape of a white man and his sweetheart from a band of hostile Indians. The girl's cabin has been sacked, and she has been made captive. Her lover invades the Indian camp, and knowing of the eclipse, threatens to put out the sun if they do not release her. Then comes the eclipse, and the Indians fall prostrate, allowing the prisoners to escape. This should have ended the story: all that follows is an anti-climax. Indeed a band of Indians so impressed by the prediction of the darkened sun would scarcely have pursued. However, they do, and refugees are finally saved by a party of new settlers. The light effects to represent the eclipse might have been better.
WHEN THE SUN WENT OUT (Kalem).(Sept. 8) --Tom, about to go on a hunting trip, consults his almanac and finds there will be a total eclipse of the sun, visible about 2:45 p.m. On his way he stops to visit his sweetheart, Nell. He has hardly left the cabin when in an attack by Indians, Nell's father is shot and she is made captive . Returning to the cabin about noon, Tom discovers Nell's absence, and noting the signs about realizes her danger. Trailing her to the Indian camp he seeks out the big chief and says: "Release her or I shall put out the sun." Instead of heeding Tom's request, the chief orders him tied to a stake. Just then the heavens begin to darken, until the sun is totally eclipsed. The Indians, believing that Tom has made his threat good, release the captives, who quickly make their escape. A few minutes later, the sun coming out from under eclipse, the Indians start in pursuit of their fleeing prisoners. Nell's horse soon gives out. A few miles further on foot dodging their pursuers until they cross the trail of a party of new settlers just as the Indians are about to reach them. As short and sharp fight takes place, the Indians being finally defeated. Tom, thanking his rescuers declares that friends in need are friends indeed.
Not particularly a plausible or cleverly told film (couldn't they even fake an insert of the eclipse?), but of interest at least to show how strenuous these films were for the participants. Joyce has to move furniture, be dragged struggling from a building, and get tied up. Then she and George Melford ride, run, climb on rocks, and climb up and down a tree--Joyce of course in a long dress. The demise of the second horse is shown by running backward a shot of the horse getting up. Carlyle Blackwell and Jane Wolfe play the settlers, who for some reason are driving their wagon straight down a rocky riverbed, which looks like it is about to shake the wagon to pieces.
Print viewed: 35mm reel at the Library of Congress.
The Alpine Lease (Kalem, Sept. 13).--This is an exceptionally good film. A strong, dramatic and consistent scenario is built around the backgrounds of an oil well and most admirable views. It is also well acted with Alice Joyce and Carlyle Blackwell in the leading roles. Jenson buys an abandoned Alpine lease, but is laughed at by his neighbors of the Sterling lease. However, the young foreman of the rival lease meets Jenson's daughter, is impressed, and later when Jenson really strikes oil and the owner of the Sterling lease tries to deprive him of his rights by declaring that his well is on the Sterling property, this young man investigates the claim and finds in favor of Jenson. Jenson, however, has become crazed at his rival's assertions and sets forth to destroy the well. He is followed by his daughter, who in climbing the derrick after her father and struggling with him accidentally pushes him over, setting fire to the oil below with his torch. Both are rescued by the young foreman, who has come to tell them that their claim is valid, and when the members of the Sterling lease would arrest Jenson for Arson, he brings the truth to light.
THE ALPINE LEASE (Kalem).(Sept. 15) --Jenson, an unfortunate oil operator, buys the abandoned Alpine Lease. Rodney Willis, the young foreman of the adjoining Sterling lease, meets Jenson's daughter, Chick. The Sterling's manager laugh [sic] at Jenson's efforts to redeem the dry Alpine Lease. Two weeks later Jenson strikes an oil pocket. The Sterling's manager plans to secure Jenson's well by claiming it is on the Sterling lease, and has ejectment papers served on Jenson. Young Willis, disapproving of his superior's methods, searches the records and finds Jenson's title is good. In the meantime, Jenson, crazed by his apparent loss, starts out to destroy the derrick rigging. Chick, seeing her father's peculiar actions follows him and climbs the derrick. During the struggle in mid air, between Chick and her father, the old man with torch in hand, drops to the platform below, the torch quickly igniting the oil.
Rodney, arriving at the Jenson cabin to tell them of their good fortune, finding the house deserted starts for the well, expecting to find them there. As he approaches he takes in the situation at a glance. Getting nearer he sees Chick perched on the ladder near the top with the flames and fumes shooting up about her. Tying a handkerchief over his face, he successfully performs a daring rescue. The manager of the Sterling lease tries to have Jenson arrested for attempted arson, but is confronted with the proof of the validity of Jenson's title
AJ as Dolores with William West and Carlyle Blackwell.
Mystery [sic] of the Hacienda del Cerro (Kalem, Oct. 9).--a veritable incident of old California is told in this picture, with good attampt at local color, aided by the real backgrounds of that locality. Dolores, the daughter of the household, fell desperately in love with an American, who had his wife with him. When he repulsed her advances, she tried to get an Indian who was infatuated with her to steal the wife away. But the Indian, though savage, was no easy tool. He scorned the job but took advantage of the information as to how to get into the premises and stole Dolores herself away. The Americans headed a party to go out and rescue her, but when she was found she died--rather mysteriously it appears. Miss Joyce plays Dolores very well. William West is her father and Carlyle Blackwell the American.
THE MISTRESS OF THE HACIENDA DEL CERRO (Oct. 9).--Richard Young, an American immigrant, and his sick wife find shelter at the Hacienda del Cerro. Dolores, daughter of Esteban Hernandez, owner of the Hacienda Del Cerro, is fascinated by the young American and attempts to win him from his wife, but her advances are scorned by the honest American. This incites the vindictive Dolores to revenge herself on Richard by having Gray Bear, an Indian Chief, abduct Richard's wife. Dolores summons Gray Bear to her home and makes known her plan. The Indian apparently becomes a willing tool, but when he arrives that night with four or five braves, instead of kidnapping the American's wife they capture Dolores, with whom the Indian chief is madly in love. A prisoner in Gray Bear's tent, Dolores is informed she is about to become the Indian's wife. The rescue is splendidly portrayed.
AJ as Maude. Directed by Kenean Buel, with George Melford and Carlyle Blackwell. A copy of this film is available at the National Film and Television Archive, London.
The Blackfoot Halfbreed (Kalem, Sept. 29).--One regrets to see so much good energy wasted on such bad material. The scenario, in the first place, lacks good taste, and is more or less repulsive in its insinuations and accomplishes no good by presentation; nor is there any depth to the acting or any moral taught to give it excuse for being. Perhaps the unnaturalness of the father's character stilted the actors interpretation, but a little demonstration of true parental feeling would have been accepted and aided the significance of the film. The daughter of the officer in charge of the post returns from college and her Indian mother insists upon her coming to live with her tribe. She does so and the chief falls in love with her. She returns to her father, finding Indian life unbearable, but is sent back again to prevent an uprising. The chief insists upon marrying her by force. Warned by an Indian girl, the forces at the barracks set out and arrive in time to prevent.
THE BLACKFOOT HALFBREED (Kalem).(Sept. 29).--Colonel Baker, in charge of a regiment stationed at Fort Nelson, near the Blackfoot Indian Reservation, married Goffersocks, a full blooded Blackfoot Indian. The fruit of their union, a beautiful daughter, Maude, is sent East to be educated.
Our story opens with a letter from Maude to her father, advising him of her intention to return home. On Maude's return to the fort her Blackfoot mother begs her to visit the Indians. While occupying her mother's tepee, Big Chief, the chief of the tribe, covets the handsome halfbreed. Maude, finding Indian life unbearable, returns to her father. Captain Tingley, next in command to Colonel Baker at the fort, has long been an admirer of Maude, and their engagement is finally announced. Maude's return to the fort angers the Blackfoot chief, and she is urged to return to her mother's wigwam to prevent hostilities. On arriving at the Indian village, Goffersocks plans to marry her to Big Chief. Fawn and Indian girl friend of Maude's goes to the fort with news of Maude's situation, and asks for aid. Captain Tingley, at the head of a party of soldiers, effects a rescue and Maude renounces her tribe.
The Perils of the Plains (Kalem, Oct. 27).--An Indian story of some ingenuity and excitement has been presented on this film. The feature are the escape of the parents by diving under the water and breathing through reeds (used once before by Kalem) and the escape of the children from the Indian camp by rolling down a hill in a large Indian basket. The attack of the Indians on the flimsy stockade is poorly managed, and the ease with which the respective parties came in and out is questionable. The boy and girl are sent to borrow flour and are captured by Indians. Another band falls upon their parent's cabin and burn it. The parents escape out the back and elude them by the above mentioned process. At the stockade a party is sent out to find the children, who are found in a hollow tree, after evading the Indians in the basket that rolled them out of camp.
THE PERIL OF THE PLAINS (Oct. 27). -- When Mrs. Walker, the settler's wife, prepared for the(week's baking, she found the supply of flour exhausted and sent Nancy and Bob, her two children, to borrow from a neighboring cabin.
Scarcely had the children passed into the woods than a band of redskins, brandishing their guns, swept down upon them, leading them away captives.
Meanwhile another band of savages crept stealthily upon the Walker cabin, setting it on fire. Taking advantage of the smoke which filled the atmosphere, the settler and his wife hurried out of the back door, only to be followed by the Indians. Reaching a stream of water, Walker and his wife hid under the surface, breathing through reeds until the pursuing savages lost their trail.
Nancy and Bob, captives in an Indian wigwam, discovered a huge circular wicker basket. Pushing the basket to the door which faced upon a steep hill, they crept inside and started the basket bumping and tossing over the rocks. Reaching a safe place beyond the camp, they crawled from the basket and hid in an old tree.
The Walkers having reached the stockade, told the men of the missing children and two brave volunteers started in search of them. As they passed the old tree, the children hailed them and were borne safely to the stockade where, after a sharp fight, the Indians were dispersed and the Walker family happily reunited.
AJ, with George H. Melford, Carlyle Blackwell. Reissued in 1915.
For Her Brother's Sake (Kalem, Oct. 30).--The feature of this film is that the wife and brother are buried in a cave-in of a mine. The effect has been well managed, both with the sudden closure of the entrance and the gradual unearthing. The story around this situation has been deftly managed, but is almost directly reminiscent of film plots of other pictures. The acting is good. The young husband discovered a mine, and when his wife desired the earnings thereof for her own private use, his suspicions from a letter she had just received from an unknown person were further aroused. The letter was from her brother, who had asked her to aid him to escape as he was falsely accused of smuggling and was sought by the sheriff. It was rather strange that she should have chosen the mine to hide him in, as the place was frequented by her husband. She did, however, and her husband following saw the cave-in, declaring it the judgment of God. When in leaving his home, apparently forever, he discovered the note and the brother's photograph, he went with his men to unearth them, and later aided the brother to escape. The last tile spoiled the impressiveness of the conclusion by relating an obvious fact.
FOR HER BROTHER'S SAKE (Kalem).(Oct. 30).-- Bob Graham, a prospector, finds gold as the result of a landslide which carries him in its path and therefore, he calls his mine "The Lucky Fall." His first assay brings him a nice sum of money, which he keeps in a strong box at his cabin.
Mary, his wife, receives a letter from her brother, Allen, stating that he had been accused of smuggling guns across the border and flight being imperative, he asks for money to assist him. She is greatly shocked and succeeds in keeping her secret from Bob, who inquires regarding the letter. Mary begs her husband for the use of their savings, but being unable to offer a good reason she is refused.
While Bob is at the mine, the brother, Allen, comes into the cabin. Bob returning unexpectedly, sees the couple through the window and not knowing Allen, suspects Mary of being unfaithful. Mary slips out and conducts her brother to the mine, where work has been suspended for the day, the workmen fearing a cave-in. Bob follows the couple, and to his horror sees them enter the shaft, which is shortly after closed by a cave-inn. Bob feels that it is "a judgment of Heaven on the guilty pair," and returns home to pack his belongings and leave. While thus engaged, he finds a photograph of Allen bearing an inscription which disclosed his identity. Bob also finds the letter. Hastily gathering a number of workmen he hurries to the shaft, where by prodigious labor, they succeed in extricating the couple. Mary's action is fully explained and Bob gives Allen money to aid him in his flight. When the pursuing sheriff arrives, he finds his man safely across the border.
The Engineer's Daughter (Kalem, Nov. 10).--One cannot but admire the clever ingenuity with which the groundwork of this amusing comedy is made plausible. The lovers elope on a hand-car and the girl's father, a locomotive engineer, follows on his locomotive. To make this freedom with railroad property appear possible we are told at the onset by an official railroad order that the branch road has been abandoned on account of bad roadbed. The young lover then appears as inspector of the track, and so meets the girl. Papa objects and the elopement follows. The locomotive gains and the lovers take to a side track, carefully turning the switch back, so that the main locomotive and the lovers turn back on their tracks for town, being safely past a landslide before papa discovers the ruse and is again held up. Papa now continues the pursuit on foot, strangely enough gaining on the fugitives more by this means than when in his locomotive. However, the pair is safely wedded before he reaches them.
THE ENGINEER'S DAUGHTER (Kalem).(Nov. 10).-- Jack Sinclair, the new inspector of the D.G. & X.R.R., meets Lillian, the engineer's daughter, and falls in love at first sight. Lillian's father, however, does not take kindly to Jack, and enters strenuous objections when Jack asks him for Lillian's hand. Jack is not disconcerted. Pursuing his suit, the lovers agree to elope. Mounting Jack's hand-car they start for a run to the adjoining town where they propse [sic] to get married. Lillian's father, however, quickly discovers their plans, mounts his engine, and starts in pursuit. As he is about to overtake the elopers, a land-slide sends a lot of dirt, stumps and trees across the track, causing the engine to stop, and permitting the fleeing pair to finally reach their destination, where they are quickly married. Returning home, explanations take place, and a reconciliation is effected.
When California Was Won (Kalem, Nov. 13).--When the commodore of the American navy appears before the Mexican governor he takes along with him a young lieutenant who is much impressed with his daughter. This is supposed to happen before the conquest of California. He takes a rose that falls from her dress. She sends him a note that the only way he can see her is to disguise himself, but begs him not to as he will be arrested as a spy. He disguises himself and appears at her window, but is discovered. To save her honor he declares himself a spy and is about to be shot when the marines from the navy arrive, summoned by the governor's daughter who had rowed out to warn them. It is then that the governor surrenders his sword. As may be seen, the plot is romantic and adventurous enough the please the average taste. The picture is well put on, acted, and told.
WHEN CALIFORNIA WAS WON (Nov. 13). -- Commodore Sloat, of the American Navy, demands of the Mexican Governor the surrender of California. The Commodore's Lieutenant, Tom Marston, is impressed with the beauty of the Governor's daughter, Manuelita. The young lady does not seem at all displeased. That night the lieutenant runs a great risk for another sight of Manuelita. Dressed as a Mexican he approaches the house of the fair Mexican girl but shortly after his arrival he is discovered, pursued and captured. To shield Manuelita he dares death by saying "I am a spy." Manuelita, learning of his arrest rows out in a boat to the American man-of-war where a rescue party is quickly formed. Rapidly gaining the shore a run is made for the settlement. Lieutenant Marston is freed just as he is about to be shot as a spy, and the capture of the colony is effected.
AJ as Millie Waine, with George Melford and Carlyle Blackwell.
The Temptation of Rodney Vane (Kalem, Nov. 24).--This is a vineyard story and it is generally well acted, although the incidents are somewhat strained. The foreman thinks the owner's son has been making an impression on the foreman's girl, so he tries to drown him in a wine vat, but relents and saves him, later to find that his suspicions were unfounded, as the owner's son had another girl. The misunderstanding was fomented by a government wine gauger, who also coveted the foreman's sweetheart, but who was thwarted in his evil designs, as already explained. Mr. Melford was the foreman, Miss Joyce the girl and Mr. Blackwell the proprietor's son.
THE TEMPTATION OF RODNEY VANE (Kalem).(Nov. 24).--Rodney Vane, foreman of the Staire vineyard, is in love with Millie Waine. Rodney has a rival in the person of Clayton White, an Internal Revenue gauger. Jack Staire brings his fiancee to visit his parents at the Staire vineyard. While wandering through the vineyard young Staire meets Millie, whose pretty face attracts his attention. This causes Rodney a pang of jealousy. This feeling is enhanced by remarks made by the revenue man. His insinuations are so strong that Rodney refuses to listen to him and knocks him down. That night White goes to Rodney and tells him that Millie is visiting at young Staire's house and Rodney is prevailed upon to investigate for himself. Seeing two shadows on the window shade Rodney believes all White has told him. The next day Rodney shows young Staire over the wine vats. Staire slips and falls into an empty vat. Jealousy tempts Rodney to fill the vat with wine and drown Staire. His better nature triumps [sic] and young Staire is rescued. Rodney, believing he has no chance to retain Millie's love, decides to leave, but as he is about to take his departure explanations take place and the lovers are reunited.
AJ, Directed by P.C. Hartigan
Too Much Realism (Kalem, Dec. 8).--There is a novel and quite humorous idea in this picture and for the most part it is presented in a way that gives full value to the laughing points. There are occasions, however, where failure to identify the characters or lay the groundwork for a situation prevents the best results. For instance, when the girls what girls were they?), masquerading as cowboys, ride down upon the motion picture people, we see one individual laughing heartily. We don't discover till later that he is the country constable who thinks it is all part of the motion picture acting. The girls are jokers, it seems, but the picture people don't know it. So they and the constable capture the masquerading bunch and land them in jail. The film was directed by P.C. Hartigan
TOO MUCH REALISM (Kalem).(Dec. 8).--Lyn, a cowgirl disapproves of the manner in which Western life is portrayed in motion pictures. While the actors are busy rehearsing a scene Lyn decides to play a joke on them . Selecting three or four pairs of chaps and various articles of wardrobe, she rides to a neighbor's house and secures the assistance of a bunch of pretty girls to aid her in her scheme to give the moving picture people a little realism for their pictures. Arriving at the scene, where the players are hard at work the girls break into the picture and stir things up generally. The village constable, a quiet onlooker, thinks this is all in the play and enjoys a hearty laugh. As the cowgirls ride away the manager explains the situation and Mr. Constable goes for help and the mishcievious [sic] girls are eventually rounded up and placed in jail, but although they find themselves in durance vile, the girls all pronounce it a huge joke.
Between Father and Son (Kalem, Dec. 22).--Beautiful scenes and graceful acting, expressive and sincere, mark this dramatic story of Spanish Colonial days. The son wins the love of a fair neighbor, but the father sees her and covets her also. Finding himself repulsed, the father seeks to create a rupture by sending a forged note to his son, telling him that his sweetheart meets a masked man in the garden at night. Then to make the tale good, he goes himself, wearing a mask. The son follows and a awful combat occurs, the father retreating and being later stabbed to death by a lame youth belonging to the girl's household. Before dying the father confesses and blesses the lovers. The part of the lame boy was vague all through the story. The significance of the attack on him by bandits was not apparent, nor was his motive for stabbing the father toward the end. Irrelevant happenings in a story are always confusing. Plots should hang together in all their parts.
BETWEEN FATHER AND SON (Kalem).(Dec. 22).--Raphaelo meets Preciosa and is enraptured by her beauty and charms. Preciosa sends Filipo, a farm hand, on an errand of charity. While on his away he is waylaid by a party of bandits. Raphaelo arriving on the scene, the bandits are frightened away, and he helps Filipo back to the ranch, where he again meets the fair Preciosa. Returning to his home Raphaelo tells of his love to his father, Diego Di Valejo. Valejo falls desperately in love with his son's fiancee. Becoming persistent in his attentions, Valejo is spurned by Preciosa. Smarting under his failure, Valejo, in vengeful passion, concludes to mar Raphaelo and Preciosa's happiness by inciting suspicion in Raphaelo as to Preciosa's fidelity. His plans do not come to successful fruition and the lovers eventually triumph.
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Last revised December 29, 2016