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Ramona (1910)

 -  Drama | Short | Romance  -  23 May 1910 (USA)
5.9
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Ramona, a young girl growing up on her adoptive mother's rancho in California, falls in love with the Indian lad Alessandro. When Ramona is denied permission to marry Alessandro, the two ... See full summary »

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Title: Ramona (1910)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Henry B. Walthall ...
Francis J. Grandon ...
Kate Bruce ...
W. Chrystie Miller ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dorothy Bernard
...
Woman in West
Dell Henderson ...
Man at Burial
Anthony O'Sullivan ...
Ranch Hand
Frank Opperman ...
Ranch Hand
...
...
Charles West ...
Man in Chapel
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Storyline

Ramona, a young girl growing up on her adoptive mother's rancho in California, falls in love with the Indian lad Alessandro. When Ramona is denied permission to marry Alessandro, the two lovers elope, only to find a life of great hardship and unhappiness amidst the bigotry and greed of the white landowners. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Drama | Short | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

23 May 1910 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ramona: A Story of the White Man's Injustice to the Indian  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Little, Brown & Co. was paid $100 for the rights to Helen Hunt Jackson's novel. This was done at D.W. Griffith's insistence. See more »

Connections

Version of Ramona (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brief But Historic
10 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you had not read the original novel or at least read up on the film "Ramona", I don't think you'd have much of a notion of what is transpiring. Though this is only a seventeen minute movie, the whole of a novel is presented to us. If it wasn't for its landmark status as representative of early silent films it wouldn't pass muster.

This is a tale of the inequitable treatment of Southern California Native Americans. Ramona is smitten by a member of the local tribe, and they eventually are wed despite the objections of her sort-of foster mother. The couple are run out of their home by land-grabbing white settlers. All this ends badly.

Consider that the novel "Ramona" was published in 1884 and that it achieved enormous popularity, so D. W. Griffith's film was destined to be a success. But besides its place in film history for the almost overwhelming interest of the story to the public it was one of the many pieces of work D. W. Griffith was churning out, making history just in the doing.

According to Darling Kindersley's "Chronicle of the Cinema", Griffith went on a "working vacation" – one in which he shot 25 films in four months as he and his ensemble toured California. One of the films made was this, "Ramona."

Paul Spehr drives home the importance of "Ramona" and other Griffith efforts around this time:

…it is camera work and editing that make the most startling advances during this period. Griffith "publicly laid claim to the introduction of 'large or close-up figures, distant views as represented first in 'Ramona', the 'switchback' (cross cutting – gc), sustained suspense, the 'fade out', and restraint in expression', raising motion picture acting to the higher plane which has won for it recognition as a genuine art.'

One quite noticeable aspect of this film is the lack of dialogue frames. Instead there are graphic text frames inserted occasionally to detail what is transpiring. But in no sense is the filmed footage tied to the actual dialogue we see. But as mentioned above without prior knowledge of the subject the movie is so abbreviated that it doesn't come close to conveying the whole story.

It has taken me far longer to write this review than to see the movie.

Three stars.


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