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The Squaw Man
IMDB Rating: 6.2/10 from NOT RATED votes
Release: 15 Feb 1914 /

The Squaw Man

Genre: Action, Drama, Romance
Director: Oscar Apfel, Cecil B. DeMille,
Stars: , ,
Synopsis: A chivalrous British officer takes the blame for his cousin's embezzlement and journeys to the American West to start a new life on a cattle ranch.

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Critic Reviews


History seems to consider The Squaw Man to be Hollywood's first feature-length film. However, Custer's Last Fight (Francis Ford, 1912*) runs at just under an hour. I'd consider that feature-length. And it was made in Hollywood. So, I dunno.

In any event, this is a really important film, historically, and Cecil B. DeMille's first feature--and his first film, period. Supposedly, he hadn't even seen a film until shortly before he made this. It totally shows.

It's kind of a clumsy jumble of scenes taken from a book. There's no real cinematic logic or flow. There are lots of scenes of people just standing around talking--which doesn't really work in a silent film, especially without many intertitles. Characters were hard to tell apart, because they were mostly filmed in long shot. I found it all somewhat difficult to follow, although I guess I got the gist.

Still, some of the individual scenes are interesting. I suppose the theme of interracial marriage was probably notable for the time (and its outcome predictable). And the film ws mostly filmed on location, which made it a bit easier to watch. I don't imagine I'll ever feel a burning desire to see this again, but it was worthwhile seeing once as an historical document.

C. B. DeMille did learn his craft quickly. By 1915, he was doing vastly better work than this (Carmen, The Cheat).

5.5/10

* Although the version I saw was a 1920s reissue, and it's possible it had some footage added, but it seems unlikely, because that almost certainly would have been jarringly obvious.

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