The Jaguar's Claws is a 1917 silent western, produced by Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company, starring Sessue Hayakawa and directed by Marshall Neilan. It now appears to be a lost film, and all I can offer the reader is this original review from Photoplay, September 1917.
I am lost in admiration of Sessue Hayakawa! It seems to me that an actor of this type might have made a tremendous hit in the real drama. Certainly he is the finest film artist I have ever seen. He has magnificent repose, features that register every shade of expression, and gestures that are never obnoxiously conspicuous.
It is seldom that a picture story makes a direct appeal to the critic of the drama! The far-fetched in pictures, is so frequent and so irrepressible that one's criticisms are squelched, and the only thing to do is to sit and look, or sleep and not look. But "The Jaguar's Claws," by Beatrice De Mille and William M. McCoy and Roswell Dague, is so interesting, so direct, and so gripping that I unhesitatingly announce it as the best scenario I have noted in a long time.
It has a dramatic situation that is virile and impressive, and this is it: The Mexican bandit, in a fury of vindictiveness, takes prisoner both with wife and the sister of the American manager of the oil fields in Mexico. The young husband, distraught, visits the bandit and begs for chemistry, but El Jaguar is merciless. He has this to offer: the American can take one of the girls, and leave the other. That other must remain with El Jaguar. It is a case of being torn "twixt" conflicting emotions. The wife cries out for rescue from one cell; the little sister demands assistance from the other. What shall the solution of the problem be? Now, I think it is a pity to give away a fine story just for the sake of giving it away, and I do not intend to do it. I merely note the situation, which is worthy of the theater in its entirety, and if you want to know what the young American did, under the circumstances, you must see the picture.
"The Jaguar's Claws" is full of color and extremely vivid. It has no single dull moment. I should imagine that if it were necessary to make picture converts - and it is not necessary - this would be the very film to do the deed effectively. It was so well acted, too. Sessue Hayakawa is worthy of the attention of all actors. Professional matinees should be given, and students of the stage should watch Sessue in the capital work he does. I saw him once before, and appreciated him, but in this latest he could not be excelled. Marjorie Daw was interesting and the cast has been excellently selected.
I rarely feel any enthusiasm for pictures, though I can appreciate their merits, but "The Jaguar's Claws" pierced my shell.
Hopefully this intriguing silent survives for public viewing.
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