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9 user 6 critic

The Half-Breed (1916)

An outcast named Lo Dorman encounters a young woman lost in the woods. He defends her from danger in the forest and from Sheriff Dunn.

Director:

Allan Dwan

Writers:

Bret Harte (story "In The Carquinez Woods"), Anita Loos
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Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks ... Lo Dorman (Sleeping Water)
Alma Rubens ... Teresa
Sam De Grasse ... Sheriff Dunn
Tom Wilson ... Dick Curson
Frank Brownlee ... Winslow Wynn (as Frank Brown Lee)
Jewel Carmen ... Nellie
George Beranger ... Jack Brace
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Storyline

An outcast named Lo Dorman encounters a young woman lost in the woods. He defends her from danger in the forest and from Sheriff Dunn.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

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Did You Know?

Trivia

New restoration by San Francisco Silent Film Festival and Cinémathèque française completed in June 2013. Combines all extant unique material from Cinémathèque française, Library of Congress, and Lobster Films; resulting in most complete version possible. See more »

Quotes

Pastor Wynn: You know - all play and no pray makes Jack a dull boy.
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Connections

Featured in Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016) See more »

User Reviews

 
Groundbreaking, heartbreaking, essential viewing for movie geeks
23 May 2019 | by MissSimonettaSee all my reviews

THE HALF-BREED is an incredibly underrated silent drama and I am so glad it recently got the gorgeous restoration it deserves. Photographed and acted beautifully, this is one of the best Hollywood productions of its time and still worth watching today.

That THE HALF-BREED came after the incredibly racist THE BIRTH OF A NATION is fascinating. The movie is not without its dated elements, but it is far more progressive in its call for tolerance and indictment of the white man's treatment of Native Americans than you would expect in a movie from 1916.

Doug Fairbanks is an actor more noted for his charisma and derring-do than his thespian chops. However, he does an admirable turn as Lo, the half-Native American, half-white outcast. This character is more somber than his usual roles, though no less active and principled. Sam De Grasse plays the villain as he often did for Fairbanks and he does well with his usual underplaying style.

However, the best performances come courtesy of Jewel Carmen and Alma Reubens. These two women get the meatiest roles in the movie: a flirtatious yet Machiavellian debutante flirting with scandal when she pursues Lo, and a world-weary con-woman on the run from the law and her own sordid past. Both bring great depth to these parts, neither fitting fully into the ingenue/vamp dichotomy you see in a lot of American films of the 1910s.

While THE BLACK PIRATE is my favorite Fairbanks movie, THE HALF-BREED is a close second. I absolutely enjoy watching this beautifully made movie and would recommend it to silent movie mavens.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Carquinez Woods See more »

Filming Locations:

Boulder Creek, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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