1 user

The Eyes of the Totem (1927)

Passed | | Drama | 15 May 1927 (USA)
After selling out a mining claim in the desolate and frigid north, Miriam Hardy moves to Tacoma with her husband and young daughter to start a new life. Things don't go as planned when her ... See full summary »


W.S. Van Dyke


W.W. Dickson (story), Everett C. Maxwell (adaptation) (as E.C. Maxwell)




Credited cast:
Wanda Hawley ... Mariam Hardy
Tom Santschi ... Philip La Rue
Anne Cornwall ... Betty Hardy
Gareth Hughes ... Bruce Huston
Bert Woodruff ... Toby
Monte Wax Monte Wax ... Jim Hardy
Violet Palmer Violet Palmer ... Stella Haynes
Mary Louise Jones Mary Louise Jones ... Mrs. Francis Huston
Dorothy Llewellyn Dorothy Llewellyn ... Peggy Huston
Nell Barry Taylor ... Bessie Snyder
Peggy Ann Sessoms Peggy Ann Sessoms ... Baby Sessoms
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peggy Anne Adams Peggy Anne Adams ... Baby Sessoms
Emily Roudebush Emily Roudebush
Helene St. Louis Helene St. Louis
W.S. Van Dyke ... Police Chief


After selling out a mining claim in the desolate and frigid north, Miriam Hardy moves to Tacoma with her husband and young daughter to start a new life. Things don't go as planned when her husband is murdered by a mysterious sinister eyed stranger, leaving Ms. Hardy a destitute widow. With the police unable to help find the murderer, Ms. Hardy is rescued by a kindly elderly beggar and taken in by a beggar's society. Miriam enrolls her daughter in a private seminary and lives a double life as a street beggar and a member of polite society, until a chance encounter one day leads her back to the sinister eyed stranger she has been seeking for years.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

melodrama | See All (1) »





Did You Know?


This film is being shown in Tacoma, WA at the Little Blue Mouse Theatre on 11/25/2016 before being shown in Seattle in 12/16. Should be a thrilling experience. Thank you to all of those involved in it's restoration that allows for the rest of us to enjoy it. See more »

User Reviews

One of the best fight scenes in film history
18 August 2020 | by krburdittSee all my reviews

This long lost film shows many iconic Takoma landmarks, including the Totem of the title. The bulk of the film is a melodrama of a single mother surviving the best she can. Making the hardest decision of placing her young daughter in a private boarding school. Destitute, homeless, this woman lives by the only option available to her as a begger. Her predicament resonants today, as so many cross into poverty and homelessness through no fault of their own. Her daughter grows into a lively teen befriended by a wealthy family. The film villian is a predatory club owner who entices respectable young women into sex trafficking. One scene is very much like Ghislane Maxwell, as the daughter is tricked by one of these women into the predators office. As the teen attempts to fights off her rapist the wealthy son comes to her rescue. That begins one of the best shot fight scenes in films. This is no slapstick fight. This is a brutal, no hold barred fight. With stunning film shots and camera angles. This fight scene reminded me that the Directors of the Silents pushed the boundaries of composition and cinamatography. The film drags a bit in the middle of the melodrama, but stick it out. The last 15 minutes more than makes up for it.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





None | English

Release Date:

15 May 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I totemp√¶lens skygge See more »

Filming Locations:

Tacoma, Washington, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed