Fun Size Review: The Squaw Man (1914)


Cecil B. DeMille’s debut film is pretty rough going. Crude, stereotyped and more than a little confusing, it still boasts some strong ingredients. The California scenery is lovely, the likable performance of Red Wing as the wife of the hero (a Native American woman playing a Native American woman, fancy that), and the dusty authenticity that early silent features wore so well. A historical artifact but an interesting one.

[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for spoilers)” ]Red Wing shoots herself (boo!) and the hero returns to home to England.[/toggler]

(Read my full-length review here.)

If it were a dessert it would be:


Apple Pandowdy. Old-fashioned, not going to win any beauty contests but welcome all the same.

Availability: There are lots of bargain and public domain versions out there but do yourself a favor and get the Warner Archive release. It pairs the 1914 version with its 1931 remake and boasts a beautiful print and wonderful score.

The Squaw Man (1914) A Silent Film Review

An upstart studio arrived in Hollywood and made this 1914 oater. The film is about a British gent who takes the blame for a crime and heads out west. He romances and marries a Native American but finds himself conflicted when an opportunity arises to go back home to England. The film is also notable as the directorial debut of one Cecil B. DeMille.

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