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The Squaw Man
The Squaw Man
Actors: Dustin Farnum, Monroe Salisbury, Art Acord, Cecil B. DeMille, Cecilia de Mille
Directors: Cecil B. DeMille, Oscar Apfel
Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     2006     1hr 20min


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Movie Details

Actors: Dustin Farnum, Monroe Salisbury, Art Acord, Cecil B. DeMille, Cecilia de Mille
Directors: Cecil B. DeMille, Oscar Apfel
Creators: Cecil B. DeMille, Alfred Gandolfi, Oscar Apfel, Jesse L. Lasky, Edwin Milton Royle
Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Alpha Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 07/25/2006
Original Release Date: 02/15/1914
Theatrical Release Date: 02/15/1914
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 20min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Cecil B. DeMille's important first film
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 09/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

""The Squaw Man" may be billed as a silent classic for reasons such as being one of the first feature-length films (80 minutes to be exact) to be made in Southern California, as well as its huge success at the time, and consequently marking the start of Cecil B. DeMille's directing and filmmaking career. Full length feature films were already being made in Europe and the East Coast of America in the early 1910s, and many of them were probably better in various ways than "The Squaw Man", but DeMille's first attempt at filmmaking nevertheless showed great potential, and it is still entertaining and interesting to watch in our day. Credit must be given to Oscar Apfel, however, who was hired as an experienced director for "The Squaw Man" since DeMille had had only some stage acting, writing and producing experience until that time. DeMille was officially the Director General and it is believed he supervised and did most of the editing for "The Squaw Man". There are no DeMille trademarks yet to be seen in this film, but the many outdoor action scenes are not bad at all, and the overall fast pace of the film packs a lot of adventure into 80 minutes. The story is based on a popular play which audiences were familiar with in the early 1900s, and it might help viewers today to know a little about the plot in advance because some scenes are quite short, and with not many intertitles it takes a bit of effort to keep up with the story and figure out what's happening at first. Nevertheless, after viewing "The Squaw Man" a second time, I was able to follow the plot and enjoy the misadventure of an English nobleman forced to leave his home when framed by his cousin for stealing money from a Widows and Orphans fund. He arrives in America and soon finds himself the owner of a cattle ranch in Wyoming and married to a squaw who saves his life by killing the town's troublemaker. This murder remains unsolved for several years, however, during which time the cousin in England makes a dying confession. The story must have been so popular that DeMille chose to remake "The Squaw Man" not once, but twice: first in 1918 and then as an early sound film in 1931. In this first 1914 version there are great outdoor scenes of plains and even snow and mountains which were said to be in Wyoming and Arizona at the time of the film's release, but in fact everything was filmed in Southern California. Like most productions of this time, "The Squaw Man" lacks the smoothness and sophistication of silent films made in the mid to late 1920s, but for those of us who find pre-1920 films somehow more fascinating and fulfilling, I can certainly recommend this film. It has survived in very good condition, and even on this budget label the picture quality is not too bad at all, and it is helped along nicely by a good and somewhat less traditional piano score. Needless to say, this is a must-have for all serious DeMille fans as well as anyone interested in the early work of one of the great pioneers of the American film industry.