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The Last Drop of Water (1911)

A wagon train heading west across the great desert runs out of water, and is attacked by Indians. One man -- their last hope -- is sent out to find water.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Mary
Charles West ...
Jim
...
In Wagon Train
Dell Henderson ...
Undetermined Role
Alfred Paget ...
An Indian / In Wagon Train
Francis J. Grandon ...
John's Friend / In Wagon Train
W. Chrystie Miller
Jeanie Macpherson ...
In Wagon Train
...
John
William J. Butler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bruce ...
In Wagon Train
John T. Dillon ...
Cavalry Officer (as Jack Dillon)
...
In Wagon Train
Guy Hedlund ...
In Wagon Train
Edit

Storyline

A wagon train heading west across the great desert runs out of water, and is attacked by Indians. One man -- their last hope -- is sent out to find water. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Western

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Release Date:

27 July 1911 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den sidste Draabe Vand  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
"Starting off with the caravan for more promising lands"
22 September 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

In 1909, D.W. Griffith inspired sympathy for the plight of the Native American tribes in his film, 'The Red Man's View (1909).' However, by two years later, it seems that they've gone back to being the villains, the primitive savages against which these brave American colonists must fight to survive. Director John Ford certainly drew much inspiration from Griffith's work, and all the basic elements of Westerns like 'Fort Apache (1948)' and 'She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)' are already here in this 13-minute short: a love triangle, hopeless drunkard, an Indian attack, a cavalry charge, and a villain finding redemption. There's also a hint of Griffith's later epics about this film, as the director must have had a hard time coordinating such an extensive convoy of actors, horses and wagons, all in the violent swirl of the desert dust. A straightforward but relatively far-reaching story, 'The Last Drop of Water (1911)' is a very effective Biograph from the prolific director, and one that certainly deserves to be better known.

Blanche Sweet, the fifteen-year-old heroine from 'The Londale Operator (1911), here plays Mary, a young woman who must choose between two male suitors. For some reason, she picks the slimy and older drunk Jim (Charles West) over the handsome John (Joseph Graybill), only realising her mistake when her new husband starts habitually beating her in booze-soaked tantrums. Then, during a desert crossing, those dreaded and faceless Indians start attacking, and the convoy soon finds itself running low on water. Both Jim and John agree to make a dash for the nearest waterhole, scurrying desperately through the dirt, their movements kicking clouds of dust into the air. However, both soon collapse next to each other in exhaustion. Will Jim atone for his nasty behaviour by aiding his former competitor? You, of course, already know the answer to this question, but Griffith allows the story to unfold with an endearing simplicity. 'The Last Drop of Water' is a very good early Western, and a crucial step in developing the identity of the genre.


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