The Squaw Man (1914)

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    Why not take a minute to register for your own free account now? Registration is completely free and will enable the use of all site features including the ability to join in or create your own discussions.

    There is 1 reply in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • The Squaw Man (1914)

      aka The White Man




      Plot Summary
      Captain Wynnegate leaves England, accepting the blame for embezzling charity funds though knowing that his cousin Sir Henry is guilty. Out West he and the Indian girl Nat-U-Rich save each other from the evil cattle rustler Cash Hawkins and marry. Lady Diana shows up to announce Sir Henry's death. After Nat-U-Rich's suicide Wynnegate takes his half-breed son and Lady Diana back to England as the new Earl of Kerhill.
      Written by Ed Stephan

      Dustin Farnum ... Capt. James Wynnegate - aka Jim Carston
      Monroe Salisbury ... Sir Henry - Earl of Kerhill
      Winifred Kingston ... Lady Diana - Countess of Kerhill
      Mrs. A.W. Filson ... The Dowager Lady Elizabeth Kerhill
      Haidee Fuller ... Lady Mabel Wynnegate
      ... Nat-U-Ritch
      Foster Knox ... Sir John
      Fred Montague ... Mr. Petrie
      'Baby' Carmen De Rue ... Hal (as Baby de Rue)
      Fernando Gálvez ... Sir John Applegate
      Eugene De Rue ... Lieutenant
      H.R. Macy ... Lieutenant
      H.L. Swisher ... Lieutenant
      Michael J. Kilpatrick ... Lieutenant
      Sydney Deane ... Dean of Trenton
      J.H. Alston ... The Bookmaker
      Harry A. Hiscox ... Fletcher
      Slim Whitaker ... The Detective
      Lew Longenecker ... The Ship Captain
      Harry McCabe ... The Bunco Man
      Dick La Reno ... Big Bill
      William J. Burns ... Shorty
      Gordon Sackville ... Andy
      Richard L'Estrange ... Grouchy
      Charles Figee ... Bull Cowen
      Joseph Singleton ... Tabywana
      Old Elk ... Baco Willie
      William Elmer ... Cash Hawkins
      Art Acord ... Townsman
      Earl Simpson ... McSorley
      Crispino ... Crispino
      O.A. Moor ... Smith
      Edgar Lewis ... Nick
      Milton Brown ... Budd Hardy
      Tex Driscoll ... Clark
      Jack Ellis ... Parker
      Jack Rube Clifford ... Pete (as Jack Clifford)
      J.G. Harper ... Justice of the Peace
      William Mauer ... Punk
      Jack Big Deer ... Medicine Man
      Freddy De Rue ... Little Hal
      Gordona Bennet ... The Ship Captain's Wife
      Utahna La Reno ... The Ship Captain's Child
      Maureen Rasmussen ... Mrs. Chichester Jones
      Kathleen De Vois ... The Bunco Woman
      Ruth De Rue ... The Bar Maid
      Cecilia de Mille ... Child (uncredited)
      Cecil B. DeMille ... Faro Dealer (uncredited)
      Raymond Hatton ... Cowhand (uncredited)
      Hal Roach ... Townsman (uncredited)

      Oscar Apfel
      Cecil B. DeMille

      Writing Credits
      Edwin Milton Royle ... (play)
      Cecil B. DeMille ... (picturized by) (as Cecil B. De Mille) and
      Oscar Apfel ... (picturized by) (as Oscar C. Apfel)
      Cecil B. DeMille ... producer (uncredited)
      Jesse L. Lasky ... executive producer (uncredited)

      H. Scott Salinas ... (original music by)

      Alfred Gandolfi ... (uncredited)

      Cecil B. DeMille's ledger noted that he hired an extra named Hal Roach for $5 per day, and rejected actress Jane Darwell, who was already commanding $60 per week.

      The site where most of the interior scenes were filmed was located at the corner of Selma Ave. and Vine St. in Hollywood. The building one block south, at Sunset Blvd. and Vine, is now occupied by a Chase Bank. The building was originally designed as a Home Savings Bank in the 1950s by Millard Sheets Studio (one of nearly 100 in the Los Angeles area designed by the firm). A mural on one interior wall, by Sheets, commemorates the production by depicting four scenes from the film.

      The first film made by (and involving) Cecil B. DeMille.

      The Motion Picture Patents Trust, headed by Thomas A. Edison, was at that time engaged in an attempt to control all motion picture production in the U.S., and went to great lengths - often including destruction of property and physical violence - to do so. The Trust was based on the East Coast, which is why many independent producers, such as Cecil B. DeMille, began shooting their films in California. The Trust's intimidation tactics probably explain why DeMille - who was one of their most vocal opponents - put no cast or crew credits on this film.

      Several one-act versions of the play were produced as early as 1904. The complete play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 23 October 1905 and closed about 1 April 1906 after 222 performances. The opening night cast included George Fawcett, William S. Hart, William Faversham , Theodore Roberts, Adrienne Morrison (billed as Mabel Morrison), Selene Johnson, Mitchell Lewis and Cecil Ward.

      The musical composition "Nat-u-ritch: An Indian idyll. Intermezzo from The Squaw Man" by Theodore Bendix was published to promote the picture.

      Commonly accepted as the first feature length film to be made in Hollywood, California. Short films such as In Old California (1910) has previously been made in the neighborhood.

      Interiors were filmed on an open-air soundstage, built off of a barn. The L-shaped barn was built in 1901 and stood on the corner of Selma and Vine Streets in Hollywood. The stage was connected to one wing of the barn which was destroyed by a nitrate fire in 1918. The main portion of the barn has survived and now stands across the street from the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl. The barn serves as the home of the Hollywood Heritage museum.

      The original studio facilities for Paramount Pictures grew out of the barn on the corner of Selma and Vine streets. When Paramount moved to its current site in 1926 (further east, off of Melrose Avenue), they brought the barn with them.

      Film debut of Raymond Hatton.

      According to William C. de Mille, his brother Cecil B. DeMille, had initially no interest in motion picture production, and William had to convince him to undertake work on this film.

      In order to secure the services of stage star Dustin Farnum, director Cecil B. DeMille offered him a quarter interest in the new Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company in lieu of salary. Farnum declined the offer and was salaried at $250 per week, good money for 1913. The Lasky Company later merged with Adolph Zukor's Famous Players, Bosworth Pictures, and the Pallas/Morosco Company to form Paramount Pictures. Farnum's decision netted him $5000 but ultimately cost him millions.

      The first movie to be remade.

      Actor Dustin Farnum was originally offered profit participation but then requested $5000 instead. In order to raise that capital Samuel Goldwyn traveled the country and sold the rights to the film to exhibitors before a single frame had been shot, making this the first film to pre sell the rights before production.

      Revealing mistakes
      When he is in his hotel room in New York, Captain Wynnegate looks out of his window. This is followed by a cut to an obvious still photograph of the Broadway/Times Square district by night, meant to represent the view from the Captain's window.

      Early in the film, when Captain James Wynnegate (played by Dustin Farnum) is on board the sailing ship, he writes a note asking that a "check" enclosed with the note be cashed for him. Since Captain Farnum is an Englishman, he would have spelled the word as "cheque", the standard British spelling. (Moreover, the handwriting in the note is scarcely that of an educated British military officer: the lines of writing are crooked and the letters are crudely formed.)

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Hollywood Heritage Museum - 2100 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA (studio)
      Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Green River, Wyoming, USA
      Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Iverson Ranch - 1 Iverson Lane, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Los Angeles, California, USA
      Railroad Station, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
      San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Vine & Selma Corner, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA (near)

      Watch the Movie

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 6 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • The Squaw Man (1914)

      The Squaw Man (known as The White Man in the UK) is a 1914 silent western drama film starring
      Dustin Farnum and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel.
      It was DeMille's directorial debut.


      Contemporary magazine advertisement.
      James Wynnegate (Dustin Farnum) and his cousin, Henry (Monroe Salisbury), are upper class Englishmen and have been made trustees for an orphans’ fund. Henry loses money in a bet at a derby and embezzles money from “the fund” to pay off his debts. When war office officials are informed of the money missing from “the fund," they pursue James, but he successfully escapes to Wyoming. There, James rescues Nat-U-Ritch (Lillian St. Cyr), daughter to the chief of the Utes tribe, from local outlaw Cash Hawkins (William Elmer). Hawkins plans to exact his revenge on James, but has his plans thwarted by Nat-U-Ritch, who fatally shoots him. Later, James gets into an accident in the mountains and needs to be rescued. Nat-U-Ritch tracks him down and carries him back to safety. As she nurses him back to health, they fall in love and later have a child. Meanwhile, during an exploration of the Alps, Henry falls off a cliff. Before he succumbs to his injuries, Henry signs a letter of confession proclaiming James’ innocence in the embezzlement. Before Henry's widow, Lady Diana (Winifred Kingston), and others arrive in Wyoming to tell James about the news, the Sheriff recovers the murder weapon that was used against Cash Hawkins inside of James and Nat-U-Ritch's home. Realizing their son was not safe, the couple sends him away, leaving them both distraught. Facing the possibilities of losing both her son and her freedom, Nat-U-Ritch decides to take her own life instead. The movie ends with both the chief of the Utes tribe and James embracing her body.

      The main character James Wynnegate played by Dustin Farnum, was cast as the hero for the film.
      His wife in real life Winifred Kingston was also a well-known actress.
      She played the English love interest. Red Wing (real name Lillian St. Cyr)
      was born into the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska on the Winnebago Reservation,
      and she played the American Indian wife

      Production background
      Directed by Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille and produced by DeMille and Jesse L. Lasky,
      the screenplay was adapted by Beulah Marie Dix from the 1905 stage play, of the same name,
      written by Edwin Milton Royle.

      This first screen version of the story was the legendary DeMille's first movie assignment. It also holds the distinction of being the first feature-length movie filmed specifically in Hollywood. DeMille wanted to emphasize the outdoors and wanted to shoot the movie in a place that had exotic scenery and great vistas. Initially he traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona to film the movie.[3] After seeing the vast amount of mountains near Flagstaff; the filming was moved to the Los Angeles area. It was not the first film to be made in the Los Angeles area, and film historians agree that shorts had previously been filmed in Hollywood, with In Old California considered the earliest. Harbor scenes were shot in San Pedro, California and the western saloon set was built beside railroad tracks in the San Fernando Valley. Footage of cattle on the open range were shot at Keen Camp near Idyllwild, California, while snow scenes were shot at Mount Palomar.Cecil B. DeMille felt that lighting in a movie was extremely important and viewed it as the visual and emotional foundation to build his image. He believed that lighting was to a film as “music is to an opera”

      The Squaw Man went on to become the only movie successfully filmed three times by the same director/producer, DeMille. He filmed a silent remake in 1918, and a talkie version in 1931. The Squaw Man was 74 minutes long and generated $244,700 in profit


      Non-Native American actor Joseph Singleton played the role of Tabywana, Nat-U-Ritch's father. Lillian St. Cyr of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska was cast to play the role of Nat-U-Ritch, a member of the Ute tribe. She is also known as "Princess Redwing". St. Cyr along with her husband James Young Deer (of the Nanticoke people of Delaware)[5] have been regarded as the first "Native American power couple" in Hollywood.[6] DeMille selected Lillian St. Cyr to play Nat-U-Ritch because he wanted an authentic Native American. During the early silent film era, films that were based on the experiences of Native Americans were popular. The central theme of this film was miscegenation. In the state of California, anti-miscegenation laws existed until 1948; however, while African Americans couldn’t legally marry whites in California during the filming process, marriages between Native Americans and whites were permitted. Though there were Native American actors, whites were mostly cast as Indian characters. Native Americans actors who played Indian roles might even perform in redface.

      The costumes that Native American filmmakers made were often inaccurate.
      Young Deer and his wife Lillian St. Cyr helped to transform how Native American characters were represented.
      The characters they created and portrayed were sympathetic in complex ways,
      although other studios like Kalem were also attempting to accurately portray Natives in film.
      However, other scholars argue that Native American-themed silent films did not alter in any way
      the dominant perception of Indians themselves.
      Apparently, a large number of films displayed the Native American experience
      from many different perspectives and did involve Native American writers, filmmakers,
      and actors during this time period.


      User Review

      "Come out west – where folks keep their hands in their own pockets"
      18 February 2008 | by Steffi_P (Ruritania)

      Stef wrote:

      The Squaw Man may be best remembered as the first picture directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and the first made in Hollywood, then a convenient wilderness. It's a rather inglorious debut on both counts, and nowadays is perhaps most interesting as an example of the early western feature.

      In pioneer westerns of the 20s and 30s the main theme was usually the exploration of the unclaimed west, but in the 1910s the most common set-up was of a civilized easterner heading to an already-settled but still unruly west. This is the case in Griffith westerns like The Battle of Elderbrush Gulch (1913), as well as later features by DeMille such as The Virginian (1914) and A Romance of the Redwoods (1917). It's worth bearing in mind that, in this early part of the twentieth century the "old" west would have been a fairly recent memory, and the western was then more a lesson in geography than history. It's also rather apt given the circumstances of production – companies from the east going out west – and probably also the reason why they are called westerns and rather than being some sub-genre of the historical feature.

      While the outsider in westerns of this period was typically a lady or gentleman of New York or some other east coast city, the titular squaw man is an Englishman. There are a few establishing scenes set in England, with a plot regarding an embezzlement from an orphan's fund that is very reminiscent of Griffith's biograph shorts. This is not surprising, as Griffith took his themes from the American stage where he began his career, and The Squaw Man is based on a play. The trouble is, Griffith was a master at making these theatrical stories cinematic, whereas the adaptation of The Squaw Man is rather flat and weak. The plot takes bizarre, improbable and pointless turns, sometimes getting bogged down in subplot and at other points zipping ahead making the narrative incomprehensible at times.

      As noted this was Cecil B. DeMille's debut as director, although this is perhaps misleading. It was co-directed by Oscar Apfel, who had already made two-dozen shorts for Edison and Pathe. Accounts of the production state that Apfel handled the technical side of things, whereas DeMille coached the actors. DeMille may therefore be responsible for some of the fairly decent naturalistic acting on display here, although there are some lapses into appalling pantomime. There are some DeMille style attempts to photograph the imagination, with double exposures showing the hero dreaming of home, one of which is very effective, with a picture in a magazine morphing into the woman he has left behind. There also seem to be some experiments with lighting going on with some contrasting brightness and dimness in interiors, perhaps a forerunner of the Rembrandt lighting that would soon become a DeMille trademark. It is of course very difficult to accurately attribute ideas, although DeMille is also credited as "picturizer" (i.e. screenwriter) and producer.

      In spite of these meagre marks of quality, as a whole The Squaw Man lacks excitement and real drama. In comparison DeMille's first feature as solo director, The Virginian, is a far more solid production, and although made only a few months after The Squaw Man it is light years ahead in style.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 7 times, last by ethanedwards ().