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Massacre (1934) More at IMDbPro »


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Robert Gessner (story)
Ralph Block (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
20 January 1934 (USA) See more »
Joe Thunderhorse, a Sioux Indian who has become the wealthy star of a Wild West show, returns home to his reservation after years away and finds that his father is dying and his people are being abused by corrupt white officials. | Add synopsis »
(5 articles)
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User Reviews:
Excellent Film See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Richard Barthelmess ... Chief Joe Thunderhorse

Ann Dvorak ... Lydia
Dudley Digges ... Elihu P. Quissenberry
Claire Dodd ... Norma
Henry O'Neill ... J.R. Dickinson

Robert Barrat ... Dawson
Arthur Hohl ... Dr. Turner

Sidney Toler ... Thomas Shanks

Clarence Muse ... Sam

Charles Middleton ... Sheriff Scatters

Tully Marshall ... Jake
Wallis Clark ... Cochran
William V. Mong ... Grandy
DeWitt Jennings ... Sheriff Jennings
Juliet Ware ... Mrs. Trevor
James Eagles ... Adam Thunderhorse
Frank McGlynn Sr. ... Missionary
Agnes Narcha ... Jennie Thunderhorse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Irving Bacon ... Secretary (uncredited)
William Bailey ... Investigation Attendant (uncredited)
Hank Bell ... Cowboy Selling Rope (uncredited)

Chief John Big Tree ... Indian Judge (uncredited)
George Blackwood ... Charles Moffitt (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Norma's Butler (uncredited)
Eddy Chandler ... Deputy (uncredited)

Iron Eyes Cody ... Indian (uncredited)

William B. Davidson ... Senator Beale (uncredited)
Mildred Dixon ... Party Guest (uncredited)
White Dove ... Indian (uncredited)

Douglass Dumbrille ... Senator Emory, Chairman (uncredited)
Philip Faversham ... Interne (uncredited)
Julia Griffith ... Hearing Spectator (uncredited)
Samuel S. Hinds ... Judge Eldridge (uncredited)
Noble Johnson ... Indian Leader (uncredited)
Edward Keane ... Prosecutor (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Dickinson's Secretary (uncredited)
Henry Kolker ... Senator Woolsey (uncredited)
Artie Ortego ... Indian on Raid (uncredited)
George Reed ... Chief Black Star (uncredited)
Cliff Saum ... Cameraman (uncredited)
Harry Seymour ... Indian Show Barker (uncredited)
Chief Standing Bear ... Indian (uncredited)
Chief Thunderbird ... Indian (uncredited)
Niles Welch ... Arena Announcer (uncredited)

Directed by
Alan Crosland 
Writing credits
Robert Gessner (story)

Ralph Block (screenplay) and
Sheridan Gibney (screenplay)

Ralph Block  story

Produced by
Robert Presnell Sr. .... producer
Original Music by
Bernhard Kaun (uncredited)
Cinematography by
George Barnes 
Film Editing by
Terry O. Morse 
Art Direction by
John Hughes 
Costume Design by

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
70 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Chief Joe Thunderhorse:You used to shoot the Indian down. Now you cheat him and starve him and kill him off by dirt and disease. It's a massacre, any way you take it!See more »
The Sun DanceSee more »


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22 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Excellent Film, 29 December 2009
Author: drednm from United States

Richard Barthelmess stars as Joe Thunderhorse, a Sioux Indian who has grown up in white schools and is the star of a traveling "Old West" show. He goes back to "the reservation" when he gets a telegram that his father is dying. Once there he runs up against a trio of crooked white men, Dudley Digges as the Indian Agaent, Arthur Hohl as the incompetent doctor, and Sidney Toler as the henchman. He also meets Lydia (Ann Dvorak) who knows the realities of life on the reservation.

The whites treat Joe like any other Indian, but Joe has lived in the white world for 30 years and fights back. After he he convicted of attempted murder in an amazingly crooked court run by Digges, Joe breaks from the reservation and heads to Washington, where the case turns into a national event with a national network of graft and corruption exposed.

This is an highly entertaining film that publicizes the Indians' plight and (as of 1934) lack of civil rights.

Barthelmess is excellent as the crusading Joe. Dvorak is solid as the heroine. Digges, Hohl, and Toler are appropriately slimy. Co-stars include Claire Dodd, Tully Marshall, Clarence Muse, Henry O'Neill, Charles Middleton, and Robert Barrat.

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