A judge who had taken part in the gold rush of 1849 hires an acting troupe to recreate the experience in this rather fanciful silent Western. The make-believe turns serious when a real gold-mine is discovered nearby and a local girl is kidnapped by a nasty gambler. Written by
I love silent films and have perhaps reviewed more than anyone. However, sometimes a silent is just bad--even if the print is pretty good. The plot for "49-17" is pretty stupid and the film never rises to the level of anything approaching good. Now I DO understand that films of the day were not as wonderfully written and executed a films just a decade later, but even for 1917, this is a pretty crappy film.
An old judge laments how he lost his daughter and wife many years the before--back in the "Gold Rush" days. It seems she got bored and ran off with his baby daughter. Ironically, he discovered gold soon after that and became rich--but still regrets losing them. After a very, very contrived portion involving the recreation of an old west town, the man responsible for breaking up his happy home returns and they have it out in a series of dastardly encounters. Whatever.
The bottom line is that the plot never seems convincing in the least and never makes much sense. You might not get that from my quick summary--but the film never becomes interesting, convincing or even worth your time. To top it off, it's bundled on DVD with "The Ocean Waif"--a highly deteriorated that lacks an ending--it disintegrated and you are just provided a written description of several HUGELY important climactic scenes! Save your money!
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