Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Massacre (1912)

This is a western melodrama of war and revenge by directorial innovator and infamous director D. W. Griffith that is surprisingly sympathetic to the Indian predicament.  Which is actually not all the unusual for the earliest westerns made.  It starts out with a peaceful Indian village being attacked, and is pretty unrelenting about showing the violence of the ensuing deaths.  This then becomes a reason for revenge, where in the surviving native attack a covered wagon train heading west through their territory.  The year of this film is in some dispute, but most hard core Griffith scholars insist that it dates from 1912, not 1913 or 1914, however the reason for this dispute could differ from what can be called a premiere.  Since most film's year date is set by it's first public showing is, in the earlier days of cinema, what constituted a "public premier" really was.  

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