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The Shadow Catcher (1974)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 10 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

Made in 1975, this documentary is a biography of Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), photographer, ethnologist and filmmaker who sought to preserve aspects of Indian cultures on the Plains, in ... See full summary »

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Title: The Shadow Catcher (1974)

The Shadow Catcher (1974) on IMDb 5.6/10

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Edward S. Curtis (voice)
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Made in 1975, this documentary is a biography of Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), photographer, ethnologist and filmmaker who sought to preserve aspects of Indian cultures on the Plains, in the Southwest, on the Northwest Pacific Coast, and Alaska. Written by Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

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29 December 1974 (USA)  »

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Documentary covers pioneer film maker Edward S. Curtis.
26 November 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Notably out-classed by the 2000 documentary on Edward Curtis COMING TO LIGHT, which was able to apply more hindsight, this one loses sight of its subject for whole stretches of the production, as it gets stuck into recording Native American ways on it's own.

Both films suggest Curtis as an influence on Robert Flaherty and include lengthy clips from his major work, the feature with a thin story IN THE LAND OF THE WAR CANOES.

SHADOW CATCHER however follows him from his Seatle base into talking a Millionaire backer into supporting the project already rejected and retraces the subject's travels ending with a meeting with surviving members of the WAR CANOES cast who discuss the seriousness with which they had to take the project and see no problem with the director's efforts to remove "trade or contact" from his work.

Re-staging the scene of the photographers, realizing the thirty mile off shore rock where they had chosen to film bull seals, would be under water at high tide makes a suitable climax.

This one was a respectable effort but could have stood more severe editing. It is further diminished now that the Eastmancolor copies have gone pink making it impossible to differentiate the new material from Curtiz' original monochrome, as intended.

Sutherland's narrator voice is effectively shaded from his normal delivery


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