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William V. Ranous
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based on poem | See All (1) »

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Drama | Short

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25 October 1909 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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First IMP production and release. See more »

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Version of Shirley Temple's Storybook: Hiawatha (1958) See more »

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Wooden Indian
18 January 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This is the first film produced by Carl Laemmle's IMP Company. That means it is the ancestor of all of Universal Studio's Production and a weapon in the War that brought down the Motion Picture Trust in 1918. At times it was Uncle Carl against everyone in the industry, and that included Thomas Edison. He won.

But should you spend your time looking at this antique?

It's an interesting production for 1909. First, there are some beautiful location shots of the (then) exurban Fort Lee, New Jersey area, including a magnificent waterfall that may have been Passaic Falls. Second, there was the daring of doing a movie profusely titled, from Longfellow's poem -- the courtship of Minnehaha.

When it comes to acting, however, this movie is no great shakes, even by the standards of the time. At times the movie turns funny -- unintentionally, when it illustrates the poem literally.

I'll give this movie a six out of ten, but mostly for historical interest.


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