13 August 2006 | MartinHafer
This longer D. W. Griffith short is well worth seeing--it's got a star-studded cast and LOTS of action!
While I score the movie a 7, I also should point out that it is both interesting historically (as it stars Mae Marsh, Lillian Gish and Lionel Barrymore when they were all younger and less well-known) and features pretty exciting action for its day.
The plot is odd for a Western, in that all the trouble with the Indians begins for the weirdest reason I have ever seen! The Indians decide to have a giant dog banquet (no, they are not feeding dogs, but feeding ON dogs) and when two Indians arrive late, there are not pooches left! So, they steal two dogs belonging to two orphans from the nearby White settlement and this actually touches off an all-out war!!!! Not only is this silly, but seems to play on the prejudices of audiences. I don't know if American Indians actually ate dog, but it sounds like the sort of stereotype that later was applied to other ethnic groups. All this over dogs! The movie has some excellent battle scenes and exciting moments--such as when Ms. Marsh crawls across the battlefield to save a baby! Exciting stuff! But, STRANGE, too!