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Sitting Bull at the Spirit Lake Massacre (1927)


(as Robert North Bradbury)




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Cast overview:
Donald Keefe
Sitting Bull (as Chief Yowlache)
Mame Mulcain
Jay Morley ...
Pat Mulcain (as Jay Morely)
Shirley Palmer ...
Ceila Moore
James O'Neill ...
Indian (as James O'Neil)
Bob Keefe (as Bob Bradbury Jr.)
Fred Warren ...
Leon De La Mothe ...
John Mulcain (as Leon Kent)
Lucille Ballart ...
Mary Moore (as Lucille Balart)
Thomas G. Lingham ...
Parson Rogers (as Tom Lingham)


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Release Date:

15 June 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

With Sitting Bull at the Spirit Lake Massacre  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Featured in Room 237 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Well done for what it was--but it got the facts all wrong.
19 October 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I did some research. There really was a Spirit Lake Massacre in which 40-50 settlers were killed by a branch of the Sioux tribe. However, it was NOT the branch from which Sitting Bull originated and the leader was a guy named Inkpaduta. But "Inkpaduta at the Spirit Lake Massacre" doesn't have such a nice ring to it, so the folks changed this and many other details. Four women, not two, were kidnapped--and two of them were then killed. So much for historical accuracy! Is the film still worth seeing? Well, yes. In some ways it is quite good.

It's odd but I have found most portrayals of American Indians in silent films to be better than in sound films from the 1930s-40s. In this case, Sitting Bull is played by a real Indian American. Sure, Chief Yowlachie (whose real name was Daniel Simmons) looked almost nothing like Sitting Bull and he came from the Yakima tribe in Washington, but at least he WAS an Indian! So many films of the sound era feature 'Indians' like Rock Hudson (I am not kidding), Charles Bronson and Iron Eyes Cody (who, despite his looks and his famous commercial in which he cried at the sight of garbage, was an Italian!). Now these guys played leading roles. The assorted Indian extras often were real Indians--but as often as not, they were just white guys painted with dye! Seriously! Also, the film got a few details I liked. Believe it or not, I was impressed by horse poo! Yes, in one tiny scene, you see a dirt street in the village and there's a pile of horse poo there--something you NEVER see in the heavily sanitized Hollywood films of later eras! This was a nice touch. And, the look of the film was quite nice.

Things NOT so admirable, other than historical inaccuracy, was the weird lack of a real resolution at the end of the film. Instead of showing anything, there is an intertitle card that sums up A LOT of action. Then, out of no where, you see the two heroines kissing their beaus! What sort of an ending was this?!

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