Epic early film, directed by D.W. Griffith. Mae Marsh, her little sister, and their dogs are orphaned - they must go to live with an uncle. Aboard their coach is young couple Lillian Gish and Robert Harron, celebrating the birth of their first child. The coach arrives in Elderbush Gluch. Marsh's uncle tells her she can't keep the dogs, and they are put out. There are Indians (Native Americans) nearby; and, Indians love to eat dog meat (no kidding?). These Indians are hungry! Lionel Barrymore is sympathetic to Ms. Marsh, desiring to help her recover the runaway dogs. While rescuing the puppies, an Indian is shot
resulting in a "Cowboys vs. Indians" confrontation.
This "Saga of the American West" is certainly an important film; however, the reliable Griffith performers begin to overplay their hands, and the story is too contrived. Many of the Griffith elements are in place - some good, and a few bad. "The Battle at Elderbush Gluch" foreshadows the later epic, "Birth of a Nation".
******* The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (3/28/14) D.W. Griffith ~ Mae Marsh, Robert Harron, Lillian Gish
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