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The Captive God (1916)

A little Spanish boy is shipwrecked and cast ashore in Mexico in the sixteenth century. Raised as a god by the Tehuan tribe, who have never before seen a white man, the boy is named Chiapa.... See full summary »


Charles Swickard


Monte M. Katterjohn (screenplay), Monte M. Katterjohn (story)




Complete credited cast:
William S. Hart ... Chiapa
Enid Markey ... Lolomi
P. Dempsey Tabler P. Dempsey Tabler ... Mexitli (as P.D. Tabler)
Dorothy Dalton ... Tecolote
Robert McKim ... Montezuma
Dorcas Matthews Dorcas Matthews ... Maya
Herbert Farjeon Herbert Farjeon ... Cacama
Bob Kortman ... Tuyos (as Robert Kortman)
William Desmond


A little Spanish boy is shipwrecked and cast ashore in Mexico in the sixteenth century. Raised as a god by the Tehuan tribe, who have never before seen a white man, the boy is named Chiapa. At manhood, Chiapa rules the Tehuans. When the priestess Tecolote, whom he loves, is kidnapped by the Aztec warrior Mexitli, Chiapa follows in hopes of rescuing her. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | History







Release Date:

23 July 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le Dieu captif See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

A Review Longer Than The Version Of The Movie I Saw
23 September 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

There's a problem with looking at a 12-minute Pathe baby cutdown of the five-reel movie, which seems to have been projected too slow under the title RIVAL TRIBES. It winds up looking like one of the 1930s shorts in which they made fun of silent movies: not the Pete Smith ones, either. Pete's nonsensical comments are funny. I had to do some research to discover that Enid Markey's character was not originally named "Princess Tacki" to indicate her poor fashion sense, nor wonder whether it is a wise thing for an Aztec to say "I'd rather die than marry P. Dempsey Tabler" -- which is the actor's name, not the character's -- when the Aztecs practice human sacrifice. Apparently the decision was to keep in the beefcake photos of William S. Hart, and to heck with the rest.

I seem to be babbling, so let's give a brief indication of the set-up: Mr. Tabler (Aztec) has just won a major battle against the Mayans. Montezuma offers him his choice of rewards, and he choose Princess Enid Markey. She says no way, etc. and discovers half-naked William S. Hart (Mayan), who asks her to hide him. She does, they neck, are discovered and are sentenced to "a barbarous ceremony before the sacrifice."

Because the barbarous ceremony consists of being pelted with flowers, I'd take the ceremony. I was not asked, so when the Mayans swoop in to rescue Hart and Markey from ... well, I'd like to write "a fate worse than death", but to the editors who did the cutdown, that seems to be being hit by flowers and I disagree with that assessment. The Mayan army rescues the good guys. Yay, I suppose.

There are lots of rags and tags of William S. Hart's movies, and I wish they survived in better shape. Not only was Hart a fine actor (even with his shirt on), but his westerns about the Good Bad Man were seminal. In addition, the camerawork was by Joseph August (and here, Clyde de Vinna) and that's a cameraman whose work was worth looking at. De Vinna's too.

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