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The Squaw Man (1931)

Passed | | Western | 5 September 1931 (USA)
Jim Wyngate, an English aristocrat, comes to the American West under a cloud of suspicion for embezzlement actually committed by his cousin Lord Henry. In Wyoming, Wyngate runs afoul of ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Cecil B. De Mille)

Writers:

(by), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Henry - Earl of Kerhill
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Mrs. Chichester Jones
DeWitt Jennings ...
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Big Bill (as J. Farrell McDonald)
Mitchell Lewis ...
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Andy
Frank Rice ...
Eva Dennison ...
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Storyline

Jim Wyngate, an English aristocrat, comes to the American West under a cloud of suspicion for embezzlement actually committed by his cousin Lord Henry. In Wyoming, Wyngate runs afoul of cattle rustler Cash Hawkins by rescuing the Indian girl Naturich from Hawkins. Wyngate marries Naturich, but then learns that his cousin Lord Henry has been killed and has cleared his name before dying. As Wyngate has long loved Lady Diana, Lord Henry's wife, he is perplexed at his situation. But fate takes a hand and resolves matters as Wyngate could not have predicted. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 September 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Exilado  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his autobiography, Cecil B. DeMille wrote "I do not know whether M-G-M or I was more relieved that my contract had come to an end." The production was almost halted by the studio, but DeMille convinced them it would cost just as much to complete it as it would to stop it. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Old fashioned for Depression tastes
4 September 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

As all film buffs know Cecil B. DeMille's first version of The Squaw Man was the very first film done in what we now call Hollywood. He did a second silent version and for his third film on his MGM hiatus from Paramount he did it once again.

Third time was not the charm. Although the actors, especially Warner Baxter as the disgraced English Earl who goes to the American west and meets, weds, and beds an Indian maiden, Lupe Velez are competent and sincere the film is terribly dated. Depression audiences simply were not interested in a Victorian morality tale with a dose of the British stiff upper lip.

It all sounds so quaint and ridiculous. Baxter is accused of embezzlement and he knows who the culprit is, but won't inform because he doesn't want to disgrace the other guy's family. So with admirable rectitude he heads west and make a new life in America.

He also manages to make an enemy of Charles Bickford who was another rancher who covets his land. But Baxter finds love with Lupe, as did most of Hollywood in real life, and he has a son who will in fact inherit his title.

Cecil B. DeMille was a child of his time. Melodramas like The Squaw Man was the stuff that the legitimate theater did when he grew up and learned his trade from David Belasco.

But audiences weren't buying it in 1931, people had real issues about where the next meal was coming from and could they find work. A story about some Victorian honor code just wasn't marketable.

It's a sincere film though and it might be worth a look to judge what public tastes were at the turn of the last century and before the Roaring Twenties.


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