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A Temporary Truce (1912)

Mexican Jim, a good-for-nothing of the mining camp, spends most of his time in the tavern of the little town. On this particular day, having drunk up more than usual, he quarrels with Jack ... See full summary »

Director:

D.W. Griffith

Writer:

George Hennessy
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Cast

Cast overview:
Charles Hill Mailes ... Mexican Jim
Claire McDowell ... Mexican Jim's Wife
Charles Gorman Charles Gorman ... Jack Hardy - the Prospector
Blanche Sweet ... Alice Hardy - the Prospector;s Wife
W. Chrystie Miller ... The Murdered Indian / Indian on Street
Robert Harron ... The Murdered Indian's Son
Frank Opperman Frank Opperman ... The Indian Chief / A Drunken Cutthroat / The Bartender (uncredited)
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Storyline

Mexican Jim, a good-for-nothing of the mining camp, spends most of his time in the tavern of the little town. On this particular day, having drunk up more than usual, he quarrels with Jack Hardy, a young prospector. Jack, under other circumstances, would have disdainfully ignored Jim's drunken garble, but he felt in none too good a humor, for things were not prospering with him, and his young wife was growing homesick for the east. Hence Jack's temper was on tap and he made Jim the laughing-stock of the town by giving him a walloping. Jim vows to get even: but how? He carries off Jack's wife and leaves a derisive note for Jack, and another at the saloon, to the effect that the joke is turned. Jim has forcibly taken Jack's wife as far as an old deserted well-box in the hills, when Jack, who started after them, comes up and opens fire. Jim has the advantage for he is sheltered by the well-box, and furthermore. Jack is careful for fear of hitting his wife. This warfare does not last long... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Genres:

Action | Short | Western

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 1912 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Pretty Good Action & Craftsmanship
4 January 2005 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

There is enough good action and good craftsmanship to make this short feature interesting and worth seeing. The story is relatively involved for the running time, and in general it is told with skill and solid technique. The material itself is interesting in that, though there are many moments of tension and conflict, it does not really choose sides, but instead presents almost all of the characters (in particular, the Indians) in a sympathetic light.

The story, which has a western setting, starts with two separate incidents, and then weaves them together to make for a complex situation in which some difficult decisions have to be made. The frontier setting also allows for a large and mixed group of characters, and the script allows time to show the motivations of each of them.

The cast is generally good, particularly Blanche Sweet as the prospector's wife. The photography is well-conceived so as to maximize the sense of action despite the limitations of the camera field, and for the most part the editing also increases the sense of tension and activity. While it seems to be little known today, "A Temporary Truce" would probably compare pretty well with most movies of its year and genre.


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