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Treasures from American Film Archives, Vol. 3 [4 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • 12 1/4 hours on 4 discs
  • Audio commentary by 20 experts
  • Digitally mastered from the finest archival sources
  • Newly recorded music in stereo
  • More than 600 interactive screens about the films and music
  • 192 - page illustrated book with film notes and credits
  • Dual layer - optimal image quality
  • Postcards from the films
  • Playable worldwide

Synopsis

Redskin
Intended as a follow-up (and improvement upon) the 1926 epic western The Vanishing American, Redskin was partially filmed in two-color Technicolor -- and, during its first big-city road show engagements, was shown in Magnascope, an early wide-screen process. Written by Elizabeth Pickett, an expert on the Pueblo Indian tribe of New Mexico, the film is in part an indictment of the government's ham-handed efforts to "civilize" the Native American population. Dragged off his reservation by Indian agent John Walton (Larry Steers), Wing Foot (Philip Anderson), the 9-year-old son of a Navajo chief, is forced to speak English and acclimate himself to the ways of the white man. When Wing Foot refuses to salute the American flag, he is brutally whipped by Walton, earning himself the unenviable nickname of Do-Atin, or "The Whipped One." Overcoming his initial resentments, the grown-up Wing Foot (now played by Richard Dix) becomes the first Indian to attend Thorpe College. He excels scholastically and also distinguishes himself as a star athlete, yet still he is subjected to the bigotry of his snobbish classmates. Nor are things any better when Wing Foot graduates from medical school and returns to his own people, hoping to replace their ancient superstitions with modern medical advances. Banished from his tribe for being "too white," Wing Foot finds himself literally a man without a country. Only when he discovers oil on the reservation and manages to avert a tribal war between the Pueblo and Navajo is Wing Foot fully accepted by the two worlds he now straddles. Far superior to The Vanishing American, Redskin is well worth seeing again, if only for the documentary value of its location-filmed Technicolor sequences. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Godless Girl
Completed as a silent film, Cecil B. DeMille's The Godless Girl was quickly converted into a part-talkie by the simple expedient of tacking on a 10-minute coda, wherein the characters discuss the weather. The film begins as a condemnation of the atheistic movement then prevalent on high-school and college campuses. Heroine Judith Craig (Lina Basquette) and hero Bob Hathaway (George Duryea, later known as western star Tom Keene) hold secret anti-religious meetings with their friends. During one such meeting, the police stage a raid, whereupon a stairway collapses and a young girl is killed. Arrested for complicity in the girl's death, Judith and Bob are sent to reform school, where they suffer mightily at the hands of their sadistic jailers. Likewise brutalized is hard-boiled Mame (Marie Prevost), who in one of the film's most notorious scenes is strung up by her wrists and beaten (DeMille claimed that he was only mirroring "real life," but he was always saying things like that). Somehow, their horrible experiences serve to renew Judith and Bob's faith in God. In a harrowing climax, Bob rescues Judith from a fire, a scene so realistically staged that, for the rest of her life, the actress retained vivid memories of how close she came to being genuinely incinerated. Featured in the cast are Noah Beery Sr. as "The Brute" and Eddie Quillan as "The Goat." The Godless Girl represented Cecil B. DeMille's final production for Pathe; shortly afterward, he moved to MGM, thence to Paramount. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Where Are My Children?
Where Are My Children was one of twelve 1916 films co-directed by the husband-and-wife team of Phillips Smalley and Lois Weber. Another of the team's "message" pictures, this one tackled the touchy subject of Birth Control. Set in an unnamed Big City, the story focuses on a district attorney, who loves children, and his socialite wife, who does not. Upon graduating from college, the wife's brother moves in with the couple. Smitten by the brother, the couple's maidservant enters into an affair with the boy, the result being an unwanted pregnancy. Offering to help out, the wife arranges for an illegal abortion. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and the maid dies. The D.A. husband arrests the doctor and sentences him to 15 years in prison -- then makes the startling discovery that among the doctor's clients was his own wife. Investigating further, the D.A. learns that he has never become a father because of his wife's multiple abortions, and that all of his wife's friends have been similarly "serviced" by the doctor. The film ends with a haunting double-exposure sequence, as the repentant wife and her grieving friends conjure up visions of the babies whose lives they have snuffed out because of their own selfishness. Though Where Are My Children may seem naively reactionary in these more enlightened times, the film was undeniably strong and powerful stuff in its day. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Soul of Youth
After directing him as the title character in Huckleberry Finn, William Desmond Taylor again used boy actor Lewis Sargent in this picture. His character, known merely as "the boy," has been raised in an orphanage where he has caused as much trouble as possible. He finally can't stand living there anymore and runs away. On the streets he finds a friend in Mike (Ernest Butterworth), a newsboy. Mike teaches him how to survive but inevitably the boy gets hauled into court. However, the judge sees potential in him and hands him over to be adopted by a young politician. The judge, incidentally, is played by Judge Ben Lindsey, who was famous in his day for his efforts to give delinquent boys a decent chance in life. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Ramona

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Jane Novak - Judy
  • Image coming soon
    Larry Steers - John Walton
  • Tully Marshall
    Tully Marshall - Navajo Jim
  • Image coming soon
    Bernard Siegel - Chahi
  • Noble Johnson
    Noble Johnson - Pueblo Jim
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.