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The Americano (1916)

Doug is an American mining engineer. Pres. Valdez of Paragonia (Aitken) wants him to reopen the country's mines. Doug is not interested ... until he sees the President's beautiful daughter,... See full summary »

Director:

John Emerson

Writers:

John Emerson (scenario), Anita Loos (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Douglas Fairbanks ... Blaze Derringer
Alma Rubens ... Juana de Valdez
Spottiswoode Aitken ... Presidente Hernando de Valdez
Carl Stockdale ... Salsa Espada (as Karl Stockdale)
Tote Du Crow Tote Du Crow ... Alberto de Castille (as Tote du Crot)
Charles Stevens ... Col. Gargaras
Mildred Harris ... Stenographer
Lillian Langdon Lillian Langdon ... Senora de Castille
Marguerite Marsh
Tom Wilson Tom Wilson ... Hartod Armitage White - aka Whitey
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Storyline

Doug is an American mining engineer. Pres. Valdez of Paragonia (Aitken) wants him to reopen the country's mines. Doug is not interested ... until he sees the President's beautiful daughter, Juana (Rubens). Valdez returns to Paragonia, but is deposed by Generals Sanchez and Garcia and locked in San Mateo Prison. The Americano arrives. His company's local office has been ransacked, but he finds loyal caretaker Dan (Wilson) in hiding there. He is contacted by former Prime Minister Castille, now in disguise as a peddler... Valdez writes the mysterious date "23 Noviembre 1899" on scraps of paper which are then thrown from the prison window as garbage. Juana checks her father's diary. That date contains an account of a successful escape from San Mateo, using the secret tunnel! But Garcia demands that Juana marry him the next day or Valdez will die... Written by David Steele

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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

24 December 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Breeze See more »

Filming Locations:

San Diego, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fine Arts Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Following the successful telecasts of Othello (1922) and The Eagle (1925), New York City's WJZ (Channel 7), began a weekly series of Sunday evening silent film feature presentations, shown more or less in their entirety, which aired intermittently for the next twelve months. This feature was initially broadcast Sunday 21 November 1948, and, like the rest of the series, aired simultaneously on sister stations WFIL (Channel 6) (Philadelphia) and freshly launched WAAM (Channel 13) (Baltimore), an innovation at the time; the following week's selection would be The Pony Express (1925). See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was reissued in the 1950s with narration and commentary, and with the names of the characters simplified. See more »

Connections

Featured in Fractured Flickers: Connie Stevens (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An 'Americano' saves 'Paragonia' from dictatorship!
20 September 2014 | by binapiraeusSee all my reviews

In "The Americano", for the first time Doug Fairbanks introduces some political contents in one of his wonderful early comedies (the last one he made for Triangle) - something he would repeat later on in "Reaching for the Moon", and in the legendary first United Artists picture "His Majesty, the American". And strange as it sounds, this quite intricate story about the economical problems of a small Caribbean Republic called Paragonia goes together JUST fine with Doug's usual comical and athletic antics!

He plays Blaze Derringer, a young American mining engineer, on whom his boss calls to go to Paragonia, where a political dispute has developed about the mines, on which the economy of the small republic obviously depends: the scheming and dangerous Minister of War opposes their re-opening under the supervision and with the capital of US companies; and so the Prime Minister himself goes to see the company's boss in New York, and he puts all his hopes into the capable young engineer - but Blaze, when his boss shows him on the map where Paragonia is, only shakes his head and explains: 'Too far from Brooklyn!'

Fortunately, the President's pretty young daughter Juana has also come along with the Prime Minister, and she waits outside the office - and as soon as our young hero sets eyes on her, he changes his mind, of course... And so he heads for the 'idyllic' Caribbean island - but very soon he finds out that the conditions aren't at all idyllic at the moment: while the Prime Minister was away, the mean General has arrested the President, Juana's father, and is now trying to drive all US businessmen out of the country by force - and Juana herself has also become a prisoner in her own house; which gives Dashing Doug a wonderful opportunity to save a damsel in distress AND at the same time restore peace and order in 'Paragonia'!

So here we can witness with what innocent eyes US Americans saw the political conditions in other countries before they entered WWI - yes, it DOES take a little bit of effort by today's movie fans to place themselves back into time, as far as 1916; but once you get into the spirit, it's REALLY worth to 'live' those days, before the War, before Prohibition, before Censorship... And as for 'Whitey', the African American who's the only one from the company who's stayed in Paragonia, and with whom Doug of course becomes friends immediately ('We Americans have got to stick together', he says - a very early example where race in a Hollywood movie was of NO importance at all!); yes, he's played by a white man appearing in black-face - but that wasn't regarded as anything offensive by the black population either: anyway, didn't Swedes play Chinese later on, for example, and Austrians Japanese? And another fact is that Native American Charles Stevens, one of Doug's best friends in real life, plays quite a vital role here: that of distinguished 'General Gargaras', whom Juana is to marry by force after orders from the mean Minister of War...

So this isn't only an unusual film in MANY ways, but it also provides GREAT entertainment throughout, with a clever plot, first-class directing and photography - and of course, marvelous performances by all involved! And it finds a perfect balance between political drama and romantic comedy; a RARE jewel indeed...


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