Braveheart (1925 film)

Braveheart is a 1925 American silent contemporary western film directed by Alan Hale Sr. and starring Rod La Rocque. The story focuses on members of a tribe of Indians who are being intimidated by the owners of a canning company seeking to violate a treaty protecting the tribe's fishing grounds.[1][2] Braveheart is a remake of the 1914 film Strongheart directed by James Kirkwood, Sr. and produced by the Biograph Company.

Braveheart
Directed byAlan Hale Sr.
Produced byCecil B. DeMille
Screenplay byMary O'Hara
Based onStrongheart
by William C. deMille
StarringRod La Rocque
Lillian Rich
CinematographyFaxon M. Dean
Distributed byProducers Distributing Corporation
Release date
  • December 27, 1925 (1925-12-27)
Running time
71 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

History

Braveheart was directed by Alan Hale Sr. and produced by Cecil B. DeMille's production company DeMille Pictures Corporation.[3][4] The movie was initially named "Strongheart" after a play written by Cecil's brother William C. deMille and produced on Broadway in 1905. Stage actor Robert Edeson had portrayed the leading role in deMille's Broadway play.[5][6] However, as the success of the play continued, a remake of the 1914 film was undertaken. Nipo T. Strongheart, early in his work with Native American topics, was hired as a technical adviser, and he included elements referring to the Yakima Nation and had the hero succeed in preserving Indian fishing rights,[4] a topic of recent interest to the tribe.[7] The original movie was 30 min long, and the revised movie was 71 min. However, as the project neared completion the name a canine star had already appeared as a canine star.[8][9] Subsequently, the Alan Hale film was retitled and released as Braveheart. Nipo T. Strongheart played a small role in the film as a Medicine Man. Strongheart suggested to the movie's screenwriter Mary O'Hara additions of Yakima history to the story (which were not in the 1905 original play). Braveheart's initial treatment was credited to C. Gardner Sullivan, a prolific screenwriter who had worked with producer Thomas H. Ince.[10] American author and playwright Elmer Blaney Harris was a contributing writer and suggested numerous changes for Braveheart. Advertising for performance-lectures of Nipo Strongheart would occasionally have him in Indian costume as well as in a scene from the movie where he was dressed in normal attire.[5]

The leading character of the movie was not dressed up in Indian costumes because it was a contemporary story (which was also in the original play). The lead role was performed by Rod La Rocque.[3][4][5][6]

One scholar said had said that:

The court sequence is heavily and multiply textualized… conveying legal arguments and judgments that refer to treaties.… the judge's decision parses the meaning of the treaty text itself: "We have examined the Federal treaty with the Indians and find that it gives them the right to fish where and when they please, without limitation by State tax or private ownership."[11]

Braveheart was restored by the "Washington Film Preservation Project" and shown at the Yakama Nation Native American Film Festival in 2006[12] and 2007.[13]

Cast

Uncredited is Nipo T. Strongheart as the Medicineman.[14]

Further reading

  • Aleiss, Angela (2005). Making the White Man's Indian: Native Americans and Hollywood Movies. Westport, Conn./London: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-98396-X.
  • Joanna Hearne (25 January 2013). Native Recognition: Indigenous Cinema and the Western. SUNY Press. pp. 78, 107. ISBN 978-1-4384-4399-7.
  • Lori Lynn Muntz (May 2006). Representing Indians: The Melodrama of Native Citizenship in United States Popular Culture of the 1920s (Thesis). Department of English, University of Iowa. p. 265. ISBN 978-0-542-79588-6. UMI3225654. Retrieved August 26, 2014.

References

  1. Progressive Silent Film List: Braveheart at silentera.com
  2. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute, c. 1971
  3. Alexander Ewen; Jeffrey Wollock (2014). "Strongheart, Nipo". Encyclopedia of the American Indian in the Twentieth Century. online. Facts On File, Inc. Archived from the original on August 24, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  4. Strongheart, Nipo T. (Autumn 1954). "History in Hollywood". The Wisconsin Magazine of History. 38 (1): 10–16, 41–46. JSTOR 4632754.
  5. Lori Lynn Muntz (May 2006). Representing Indians: The Melodrama of Native Citizenship in United States Popular Culture of the 1920s (Thesis). Department of English, University of Iowa. p. 265. ISBN 978-0-542-79588-6. UMI3225654. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  6. John E. Conklin (15 October 2008). Campus Life in the Movies: A Critical Survey from the Silent Era to the Present. McFarland. pp. 119–120. ISBN 978-0-7864-5235-4.
  7. "Yakima Indians see governor and get old fishing rights". The Oregon Daily Journal. Portland, Oregon. 9 January 1920. p. 1. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  8. For more on the movie see Angela Aleiss (1 January 2005). Making the White Man's Indian: Native Americans and Hollywood Movies. Praeger Publishers. pp. 7, 25–29. ISBN 978-0-275-98396-3.
  9. Strongheart the Dog on IMDb
  10. "Film Actor works with Ty Jr, now". The Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Aug 31, 1952. p. 4. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  11. Joanna Hearne, Native Recognition: Indigenous Cinema and the Western, https://books.google.com/books?id=xJ9z36n4ps8C&pg=PA78%7C,SUNY Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-4384-4399-7, pgs. 78, 107.
  12. Nowacki, Kim (November 10, 2006). "Native American Film Festival -- Preservation celebration". Yakima Herald-Republic. Yakima Washington. p. ?.
  13. Nowacki, Kim (November 9, 2007). "Indian filmmakers getting their stories out". Yakima Herald-Republic. Yakima Washington.
  14. Alexander Ewen; Ewen, Alexander (2014). "Strongheart, Nipo". Encyclopedia of the American Indian in the Twentieth Century. online. Facts On File, Inc. Archived from the original on August 24, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
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