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The Mended Lute (1909)

 |  Western, Short  |  5 August 1909 (USA)
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Rising Moon loves Little Bear, but her father prefers Standing Rock, a richer suitor. Standing Rock takes her to his teepee under guard, but she escapes and joins Little Bear as they attempt to escape.


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Title: The Mended Lute (1909)

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Credited cast:
Rising Moon
Frank Powell ...
Chief Great Elk Horn
Little Bear
James Kirkwood ...
Standing Rock
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arthur V. Johnson ...
Alfred Paget ...
Henry B. Walthall ...
Red Wing ...
James Young Deer ...


Pretty little Rising Moon, the daughter of Chief Great Elk Horn, is wooed by Little Bear, and we meet them first at the foot of Snake Falls where they plight their troth to the music of the rumbling waters. Little Bear's worldly possessions are slim, and Great Elk Horn rejects his meager offerings in favor of Standing Rock's rich gifts, and so Rising Moon is taken away by him to his wigwam, where she is left while her husband that is to be goes hunting. Taking advantage of his absence she steals away to the forlorn heart of her own choice, Little Bear, before it is too late. Standing Rock returning and finding her gone at once surmises the truth, and gathering his companions together, starts in pursuit. Little Bear and Rising Moon hearing their approach endeavor to make their escape. Pushing their way towards the river bank, with Standing Rock and his braves following, they leap into a canoe and are soon dashing along in the swift current of the mountain stream, which is in places the... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Western | Short





Release Date:

5 August 1909 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »

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User Reviews

Love Among the Indians
17 September 2014 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Florence Lawrence loves Owen Moore, but her father prefers James Kirkwood, so Florence escapes from James' tepee -- did I mention these are Indians? -- and flees with Owen in a canoe, pursued by the rest of the tribe.

The major problems with this one-reel story is that only Miss Lawrence seems to have caught onto the more restrained acting style that D.W. Griffith was developing; and the fact that I have seen this plot a dozen times or more from Mack Sennett, offered as a comedy. Griffith used the chase as a dramatic measure, but it was already well established as a comedy centerpiece. It would take extensive cross-cutting -- which Griffith would begin to tackle this year with works like THE SEALED ROOM -- and a subdued style of acting to make the chase a dramatic thriller.

In the meantime, Griffith works on his compositions, both the group shots -- notice the early shots in which everyone is doing something reasonable and individual -- and his background shots. A lot of this is shot by and on the water and those compositions are quite lovely.

It still doesn't quite work for me because of the many times I have seen the story as travesty and the chase as comic. However, Griffith was still finding his feet.

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