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Heart of the Wilds (1918) - Lost Film ?

Author: PamelaShort from Canada
28 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jen Galbraith ( Elsie Ferguson ) lives in the Canadian Northwest in a tavern with her brother Val ( Matt Moore ) and her father Peter ( Joseph Smiley ) , a bootlegger who sells whiskey to the Indians. Val's friend Pierre ( Escamillo Fernandez ) is determined to win Jen, even though she is in love with Sergeant Tom Gellatly ( Thomas Meighan ) of the Mounted Police. When Val tries to retrieve some liquor sold illegally by the elder Galbraith to an Indian named Grey Cloud ( Sidney D'Albrook ), the Indian insults Jen and Val shoots him. Tom is assigned to track down the murderer, but after he arrives at the tavern, Galbraith and Pierre drug him. Jen delivers the papers he is carrying to police headquarters, but when she discovers that they contain orders to arrest her brother, she shoots Tom to prevent him from going after Val. Pierre appears and attacks Jen, and soon after, Val returns, followed closely by a squad of police. Val and Jen force Pierre to confess that he killed Grey Cloud, and Tom tells the police that he shot himself accidentally.

Heart of the Wilds was based on the 1908 Broadway play, Pierre of the Plains, by Edgar Selwyn. Elsie Ferguson became a star in the 1908 play, and also starred in this film version directed by Marshall Neilan for the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. Featuring several popular actors of silent cinema, Thomas Meighan and Matt Moore, sadly this 1918 drama is now considered lost.

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