Archivo de la etiqueta: México visto por el cine extranjero

Their Lives by a Thread (1913)

The Moving Picture World del 22 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 12, p. 1222):

COMING RELEASES OF WARNER’S FEATURES

Some big things are in store for exhibitors using Warner’s Features. Down in Austin Texas, the Satex Film Co. is turning out some wonderful three-reel productions, featuring Miss Martha Russell, formerly Essanay’s leading lady. The first picture, “Their Lives by a Thread,” has been confiscated by the Mexican Government because it contained some striking scenes taken across the border in which real untamed Mexicans are shown attacking Americans. But the second release [“Mexican Conspiracy out Generaled”], more thrilling than the first is on its way North, and will be ready for booking this month.

The Moving Picture World del 26 de abril de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 4, p. 429)
The Moving Picture World del 26 de abril de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 4, p. 429)

The New York Clipper del 3 de mayo de 1913 (Vol. LVI, No. 12, p. 16):

Martha Russell, star of the Satex Film Co., of Austin, Texas, late of the Essanay Co., has never appeared to better advantage than in her latest releases controlled by Warner’s Feature Film Co. They are: “Mexican Conspiracy out Generaled” and “Their Lives by a Thread.”

The Moving Picture World del 10 de mayo de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 6, p. 604):

Martha Russell, in “Their Lives by a Thread”

The Moving Picture World del 10 de mayo de 191 (Vol. XVI, No. 6,  p. 604)
The Moving Picture World del 10 de mayo de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 6, p. 604)

Lovers of the sensational will find in “Their Lives by a Thread,” a three-reel Warner’s Feature, some startling incidents. Martha Russell, as the daughter of a prosperous American living in Mexico, who has defrauded his life insurance company out of $100,000 by a fiendish plot, falls in love with the president of the insurance company and saves him from death at the bottom of a deep excavation.

To accomplish this, she climbs inside an ore-bucket and with a Mexican girl at the throttle of the hoisting engine, is carried five hundred feet in the air, then lowered to the spot where her admirer has been thrown by half-crazed strikers who believe him to be a strike-breaking leader.

Miss Russell is supported by Robert Kelly, leading man of the Satex Film Co., of Austin, Texas.

Emilio García Riera en su obra México visto por el cine extranjero (p. 51) relata:

En Their Lives by a Thread (1913), unos norteamericanos eran atacados en la frontera por “salvajes mexicanos verdaderos”, según The Moving Picture World (22 de marzo de 1913); se decía en la nota dedicada por la revista a esa película que Their Lives by a Thread fue confiscada por el gobierno mexicano, pues varias de sus escenas habían sido filmadas indebidamente en México.

Ficha filmográfica de Their Life by a Thread. También conocida bajo el título de Their Lives by a Slender Thread. (1913) Norteamericana. B&N: Tres rollos. Drama. Producción: Satex Film Company. Distribución: Warner’s Features, Incorporated. Estrenada en abril de 1913. Drama. Intérpretes: Martha Russell y Robert Kelly.

The Mexican Spy (1913)

Emilio García Riera en el tomo 2 de su obra México visto por el cine extranjero nos da una breve síntesis y una ficha filmográfica (p. 32):

1300/1. The Mexican Spy. P: EU, (Lubin) 1913. Dirección: Wilbert Melville. Argumento: E. C. Hall. Intérpretes: Edna Payne (Mary Lee), Earl Metcalfe (Tom Loring), Edwin Carewe (Luis Rivera). 3 rollos / Western.

En un fuerte militar de la frontera con México, Mary, hija del pagador del regimiento, ama al disipado Tom, hijo del coronel. Para pagar una deuda de juego al mexicano Rivera, falso rico y espía, Tom roba 5 mil dólares. Rivera amenaza a Tom con denunciarlo si no le da los planos de unos fuertes del suroeste. Mary oye todo y vende sus joyas para ayudar a Tom. Dispuesto a regenerarse, Tom se enlista. Enviado a la frontera, debe conducir un carro de la Cruz Roja con Mary como enfermera. Atacan los mexicanos de Rivera y sólo quedan vivos Tom y Mary. Mientras él resiste, Mary huye y procura el auxilio de la caballería norteamericana. Herido, Tom se recupera en el hospital gracias a Mary y es ascendido a teniente.

Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 21)
Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 21)

Por su parte Margarita de Orellana en su libro La mirada circular editado por Cuadernos de Joaquín Mortiz nos proporciona la siguiente información (p. 186):

The Mexican Spy (El espía mexicano). Producción: Lubin. Realizador: Wilbert Melville. Guión: E. C. Hall. Actores: Edna Payne, Earl Metcalf, Edwin Carewe. Bobinas: 3. Fuente: The Moving Picture World, Vol. XV, Ene-Mar 1913, núm. 2, enero 11, 1913, p. 184.

Sinopsis: Tom, el hijo del coronel Loring, es un joven disipado. Mary Lee, la hija del pagador del regimiento, ama a Tom y hace esfuerzos por reformarlo. El señor Luis Rivera, un apuesto mexicano, en realidad un espía, se hace amigo de Tom y le gana 5 000 dólares apostando. Tom roba esa cantidad de la caja del pagador pero Rivera lo amenaza con denunciarlo a menos que robe los planos de los fuertes del suroeste norteamericano y él le regresará el dinero para que lo vuelva a colocar en la caja. Tom extrae los planos, pero antes de entregarlos Mary Lee, que se ha dado cuenta de todo, vende sus joyas y logra obtener 5 000 dólares. Entonces obliga a Tom a desafiar a Rivera a que regrese los planos a su lugar. Nadie sospecha de Tom, pero él se siente culpable. Rivera desaparece. Tom decide alistarse en el ejército. Envía una carta a Mary Lee, en la que promete redimirse. Al regimiento de Tom es enviado a la frontera. Mary Lee entra a la Cruz Roja y es enviada también a la frontera. Un día el cirujano envía a Mary a misión y se lleva una gran sorpresa al encontrar a Tom como conductor de su carreta. Rivera se entera de este viaje y se dispone a perseguir a la misión. Se inicia una lucha terrible y sólo quedan vivos Tom y Mary. Tom sube a Mary a una mula y la manda por refuerzos, mientras él resiste solo. Mary regresa con una tropa y encuentra a Tom herido. Gracias a los cuidados de Mary, Tom sana. Más tarde es ascendido a teniente y se casa con Mary.

The Motion Picture Story Magazine de febrero de 1913 (Vol. V, No. 1, p. 167)
The Motion Picture Story Magazine de febrero de 1913 (Vol. V, No. 1, p. 167)

Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 2); The Moving Picture World de enero 18 de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 3, pp. 280-281) y The Motion Picture Story Magazine de febrero de 1913 (Vol. V, No. 1, p. 167):

THE MEXICAN SPY

Jan. 17, 1913. LUBIN.  2 Reels

Tom Loring, a handsome but dissipated youth, loves Mary Lee, daughter of the regiment’s paymaster. In order to pay his gambling debts to the Mexican, Señor Rivera, supposedly rich but in reality a spy, Tom steals $5,000 from the paymaster’s safe. The Mexican threatens exposure unless Tom secures the plans of certain forts in the Southwest, but Mary hears of the situation and pawns her jewels to replace the stolen money. Realizing the sorrow he has caused his father and sweetheart, Tom disappears, leaving a note that he will not return until he has redeemed himself. He enlists under an assumed name, and his regiment is ordered to the Mexican frontier. Mary becomes a Red Cross nurse and is also ordered to the Mexican border. Tom’s bravery and strategy during a desperate encounter with the Mexicans under Rivera wins him promotion to Lieutenant, but he is seriously wounded, and Mary is greatly surprised to find among her patients, her lover. Her careful nursing restores him to health, and having redeemed his former misdeeds by his faithful and heroic service to his country, he claims Mary for his wife.

Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, pp. 21-22):

A Live Lubin Two-Reel

One of the January Specials

motography-vol-ix-no-1-jan-4-1913-p-21
Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 21)

Another of those live Lubin two-reels is on the books for early release—January 17, to be exact. It is to be handled through the General Film Company as a special feature.

The title is “The Mexican Spy.” It was written by Emmett Campbell Hall and produced by Wilbert Melville. The cast is as follows: Earle Metcalf (Tom Loring);  L. C. Phillips (Colonel Loring); Edwin Carewe (Señor Luis Rivera); Edna Payne (Mary Lee); William Wells (Paymaster Lee).

The Moving Picture World del 4 de enero de 1913 ( Vol. XV, No. 1, p. 63)
The Moving Picture World del 4 de enero de 1913 ( Vol. XV, No. 1, p. 63)

As the story runs, Tom, son of Colonel Loring, is a handsome but dissipated youth, easily influenced to moral transgressions. Mary Lee, the paymaster’s daughter, loves Tom despite his failings, and tries desperately, though vainly, to reform him. Senor Luis Rivera, polished and apparently wealthy (but in reality a spy), becomes intimate with Tom, who, to keep up his end and pay his gambling losses to Rivera, steals $5,000 from the paymaster’s safe. Rivera threatens to expose Tom’s theft unless he steals for him the plans of forts in the Southwest, proposing to give back the money, which Tom may replace in the safe, if he does so. Tom cannot resist the temptation and secures the plans from his father’s office; but before he has delivered the drawings to Rivera, Mary learns of the situation, and by pawning her jewels and using a little legacy, raises enough money to replace that stolen. She then forces Tom to defy Rivera, and replaces the plans.

No one suspects Tom, but he realizes that he is breaking the hearts of his father and the girl, and swears that he will prove worthy of their love. Rivera has gone away. Tom disappears, and under another name enlists in the army, leaving a note for Mary in which he tells her that she will not see him again until he has redeemed his shameful past. Shortly afterward the regiment to which Tom has become attached is ordered to the southwestern border on account of difficulty arising with the Republic of Mexico.

The Cinema News and Property Gazette del 5 de febrero de 1913 (Vol. II, No. 17, p. 73)
The Cinema News and Property Gazette del 5 de febrero de 1913 (Vol. II, No. 17, p. 73)

In the meantime Mary has applied for and received an appointment as a Red Cross nurse, and is herself sent to the border. One day after her arrival she is sent by the surgeon in charge to a point some distance away from the hospital, and is greatly surprised to find the soldier assigned to drive the wagon furnished for her transportation none other than Tom. The two young folks are overjoyed to see one another again. Tom takes his seat with Mary and the escort inside and the journey starts.

The Cinema News and Property Gazette del 5 de febrero de 1913 (Vol. II, No. 17, p. 73)
The Cinema News and Property Gazette del 5 de febrero de 1913 (Vol. II, No. 17, p. 73)

Rivera with his troop learns of the trip and seizes an opportunity to secure revenge and the same time deal a blow at the hated Americans. He starts in pursuit of the little party. A running fight follows; and as a result Mary and Tom are the only ones left alive on the wagon. Tom stops the wagon, and hastily mounting Mary on one of the mules, sends her in search of aid while he undertakes to hold back the attacking Mexicans. Upon Mary’s return with a troop of cavalry, they find Tom lying wounded. Tom is taken to the hospital and with Mary’s careful nursing is restored to health. Later Tom is made lieutenant and secures Mary’s hand.

Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 7)
Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 7)

Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 7):

The Mexican Spy is a two-reel special to be released by the Lubin Company, January 17th. It is a dramatic story typical of the army life of Mexico and the United States. The scenes are laid on the border and constitute a powerful lesson against gambling, which is only too common among the officers. The picture is made with every attention to the local and military atmosphere of the two republics.

Mary Lee, the daughter of the paymaster, is in love with Colonel Loring’s son, Tom, he is a reckless chap given to gambling and other bad habits. Marv endeavors to reform him, but unsuccessfully. At last Tom steals $5,000 from the paymaster’s safe to pay a gambling debt to Senor Luis Rivera, who is a Mexican spy. Rivera offers to return the money if Tom will steal the plans of the fortifications from the office of the Colonel. The deal is made and Tom secures the plans. Mary discovers the treason and by pledging her jewels gives her lover the money, and forces him to return the papers. Tom later joins the army on the border and Mary receives an appointment as a Red Cross nurse. One day she is sent to a distant point and when the wagon pulls up for the trip she finds that Tom is the driver. The wagon is attacked by Mexicans with Rivera in command. A battle ensues in which Tom is badly wounded, but Mary nurses him back to life. For bravery he is made a lieutenant, and for love wins his old sweetheart.

The Moving Picture World del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 1, p. 20)
The Moving Picture World del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 1, p. 20)

The Moving Picture World, Vol. XV, No. 5, Feb. 1, 1913, p. 464:

THE MEXICAN SPY (Lubin), Jan. 17-—A two-part story of the recent war with the Republic of Mexico, which we didn’t have. E. C. Hall wrote the scenario which Wilbert Melville produced seemingly at some army post in the West. It is a fair story, but somewhat conventional with a few added novelties which give it an apparent freshness. It is charitable not to say too much about the acting; but there is much to interest in a good many scenes where no acting was required, such as the fight between the Mexicans and the United States troops that come to the rescue of the hero who has been a thief and almost a traitor, but now bravely rehabilitates himself. Some of the backgrounds also are very acceptable.

The Moving Picture World del 18 de enero de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 3, pp. 280-281)
The Moving Picture World del 18 de enero de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 3, pp. 280-281)

Variety del 28 de febrero de 1913 (Vol. XXIX, No. 13, p. 15):

Siege of Mexico Film

It looks like the movies were in for a deluge of Mexican films both dramatic and otherwise according to the plans of some of the film manufacturers. Several uptown houses have been playing up Mexican dramas for several weeks. The Lubin Co. releases “The Mexican Spy” in two reels March 9.

With the dailies running columns about the Mexican revolution the pictures will get all the publicity the managers want.

A Mexican Tragedy (1913)

Aparte de ser el debut del sonorense Guillermo Willy Calles en el cine mudo norteamericano, de esta cinta existe muy poca información, sin embargo en Guillermo Calles: A Biography of the Actor and Mexican Cinema Pioneer, Rogelio Agrasánchez, Jr. rescata del anuncio en un periódico de Utah de la época la sinopsis del argumento, misma que aparece en The Moving Picture World del 20 de septiembre de 1913 (Vol. XVII, No. 12, p. 1308):

Manuel Terrizar, innkeeper in a small Mexican town, professes to be in sympathy with the revolution; his son, Miguel, joins the insurrectos. Teresa, Terrizar’s daughter, and Gen. Laredo, leader of the revolutionists, are sweethearts. The federal government sends an agent, Sancho, to Terrizar, offering a large reward if he will accomplish the secret assassination of Laredo. Terrizar’s greed for gold triumphs and he agrees to try the scheme. Terrizar invites Gen. Laredo to the inn that night for Teresa’s betrothal feast. Laredo, accompanied only by Miguel as a guard, arrives for the feast. Miguel is plied with wine to get him out of the way. Then the boy is carried upstairs and dumped into the room at the right of the landing. Miguel, aroused, later staggers into the hallway as if to go downstairs, then changes his mind and, entering the room at the left of the landing, falls across the bed in a stupor. The feast is over. Terrizar persuades Laredo to spend the rest of the night at the inn and conducts him to and sees him enter the room at the left of the landing. In the left room Laredo finds Miguel, tries in vain to arouse him, then decides to find another bed. He goes into the hallway, finds the opposite door open and retires in the empty room at the right of the landing. The plot to kill Laredo falls on Terrizar. He draws his knife, ascends the stairs, and blowing out the hall lamp, enters the room at the left of the landing. A moment later he returns to the drinking room, announcing that he has killed Laredo. In the morning, Laredo, ignorant of events, descends the stairs to the room where the conspirators are sleeping at the tables. The conspirators are terrified, believing that Laredo’s ghost is walking. When he speaks to them they realize there has been a slip. Wildly, Terrizar rushes upstairs and in to the left room, where he finds that he has killed his son.

Motography del 20 de septiembre de 1913 (Vol. 10, No. 6, p. 3)
Motography del 20 de septiembre de 1913 (Vol. X, No. 6, p. 3)

A Mexican Tragedy fue escogida para la inauguración del Lyric Theater de Lima, Ohio,  en septiembre de 1913. Seguros del atractivo que significaba para el espectador, el anuncio de un periódico simplemente mencionaba que “trata sobre la actual revolución mexicana”.

Ficha filmográfica de A Mexican Tragedy, (1913) Norteamericana. B&N: Un rollo. Director: Wilbert Melville. Actores: Henry King (General Laredo), Velma Whitman, Ray Gallagher, William Ryno, Guillermo Calles (Miguel). Producción: Lubin Manufacturing Company.  Distribución: The General Film Company, Incorporated. Estrenada el 23 de septiembre de 1913. Drama. La película se considerada desaparecida. Según A Guide to Silent Westerns de Larry Langman en la cinta actuó junto con Broncho Billy Anderson, Reina Valdéz.

Por su parte, Emilio García Riera en su obra México visto por el cine extranjero (vol. 1, p. 50) comenta sobre el filme que:

Abundaron entre 1911 y 1914 las cintas norteamericanas que se pretendieron benévolas con los revolucionarios mexicanos, como The Clod, The Mexican Filibusterers y The Mexican Joan of Arc en 1911, The Mexican Revolutionist y The Revolutionist en 1912, A Girl Spy in Mexico y A Mexican Tragedy en 1913 y The Eternal Duel en 1914. (La trama de A Mexican Tragedy, por cierto, pareció inspirar, o adelantarse, a las de dos películas mexicanas dirigidas en 1933 por Fernando de Fuentes: El prisionero trece y El compadre Mendoza.)

Emilio García Riera en la obra antes citada da un ficha filmográfica y una breve sinopsis (vol. 2, p. 35):

Manuel Terrízar, dueño de un hotel en un pueblecito mexicano, y simpatizante de la revolución, tiene dos hijos: Miguel, que se une a los insurrectos, y Teresa, novia del general revolucionario Laredo. Sancho, agente del gobierno federal, ofrece a Manuel una recompensa por matar a Laredo. Manuel acepta e invita a Laredo a una cena. En ésta, Miguel se emborracha y es llevado a una cama, pero cambia de cuarto al despertar por un momento; eso hace que el asesinado sea él y no Laredo, quien es tomado por un fantasma al aparecer vivo al día siguiente. Enloquecido, Manuel comprueba que ha hecho matar a su propio hijo.

The Colonel’s Escape (1912)

Ficha Filmográfica: Producción: Kalem. Director: George Melford. Intérpretes: Carlyle Blackwell, Carl Rhys Price, Alice Joyce, Karl Formes, Jr., Knute Rahm. Existe una copia en el Nederlands Filmmuseum, Amsterdam (35 mm., 273 metros) y se puede ver en línea en Thought Equity.

The Moving Picture World (Vol. XII, No 11, p. 1002)
The Colonel’s Escape. Featuring General C. Rhys Pryce, an insurgent officer, for whom the Mexican Government has offered a reward of $25,000, dead or alive. General Pryce was especially engaged by the Kalem Company for this production. The Moving Picture World del 15 de junio de 1912 (Vol. XII, No 11, p. 1002)

The Moving Picture World del 22 de junio de 1912 (Vol. XII, No. 12, p. 1154) publicó la siguiente sinopsis:

THE COLONEL’S ESCAPE (June 24).–Rhys Pryce, a soldier of fortune, finds James Boyd, a Mexican Custom officer, who has been thrown into a cave by a band of smugglers. A few days later Boyd receives word to intercept arms and ammunition that are being smuggled across the border into Mexico by the insurrectos, whom Pryce has incited to fight for the freedom of their country. Pryce, being hard pressed by the Federals, seeks shelter in Boyd’s house. Boyd readily recognizes the fugitive as the man who befriended him while in distress, and in gratitude he helps Pryce to escape. Boyd’s action, however, has been witnessed by a Federal spy, who reports the affair to the commanding officer. He is court-martialed and sentenced to be shot. Before the execution can take place, however, Boyd’s sister rides with all speed to the insurrecto camp and urges Pryce to save her brother. In answer to her entreaty, Pryce, at the head of a strong part of insurrectos, arrives just in time to save Boyd and defeat the Federals.

The Motion Picture Story Magazine de julio de 1912 (Vol. III, p. 141)
THE COLONEL’S ESCAPE. An incident of the recent Mexican revolution featuring General C. Rhys Pryce, for whose body, dead or alive, the Mexican Government offers a reward of $25,000. The Motion Picture Story Magazine de julio de 1912 (Vol. III, p. 141)

Los dos anuncios que se reproducen arriba mencionan que el protagonista de la cinta, Carl Rhys Pryce, es buscado por el gobierno mexicano, vivo o muerto, además de ofrecer una recompensa de $25,000.

Otro comentario aparece en The Short Films of Alice Joyce:

Another Mexican war film from Kalem. C. Rhys Pryce (apparently playing himself) is a soldier who is on the side of the Mexican rebels. He rescues Carlyle Blackwell, apparently on the side of the Federales, and takes him to a house where Alice Joyce gives him some water. When the rebel man is chased and hides in Alice’s house, Blackwell recognizes him and lets him go (with an interesting shot of them watching the escape through a window. Unfortunately the federales arrest Blackwell and are about to execute him for treason when Alice rides to the rebel camp and informs the man, who leads the rebels in an attack on the federales, in a large confusing battle with lots of men and gunpowder. Apparently Blackwell then changes sides and they go back to Alice’s house. Interesting that Kalem films sided with the rebels in the Mexican war and that this film stars a soldier of fortune appearing under his own name.

Margarita de Orellana en La mirada circular (p. 147) menciona que:

En El escape del coronel (1912), el comercio ilegal de armas a través de la frontera vuelve a ser patriótico porque los contrabandistas han sido influenciados por un buen norteamericano que los convence de luchar por la libertad de su país.

Por su parte, Emilio García Riera en México visto por el cine extranjero (Vol. 1, p. 49) comenta:

Más común en las películas de la Kalem fue la expresión de un whishful thinking -ilusión voluntariosa- alentado por el viejo Destino Manifiesto: en 1911, otras tres cintas de la Kalem -una de abril, The Insurrecto, y dos de noviembre, A Prisoner of Mexico y The American Insurrecto– propusieron a héroes norteamericanos como cabecillas de revolucionarios mexicanos. Esa suerte de inversión imaginaria en heroísmo y capacidad de liderazgo (leadership), previsora de futuros beneficios políticos y económicos, también fue hecha en The Colonel’s Escape, cinta presentada por la Kalem en junio de 1912.

Las razones por las cuales Carl Rhys Pryce era buscado por la justicia mexicana son explicadas por Doralicia Carmona en Memoria Política de México donde documenta la toma de Tijuana por fuerzas magonistas:

Carl Ap Rhys Price
El “soldado de fortuna” Carl Rhys Price en Tijuana

Carl Rhys Pryce y J. L. Hopkins marchan de Mexicali, B. C. N., a Tijuana, para expropiar tierras, industrias y demás medios de trabajo, para entregarlos al pueblo. La acción se enmarca dentro de la expedición floresmagonista a Baja California.

Los grupos armados que combatieron en Baja California por la causa magonista, bajo la dirección política de los liberales de Los Ángeles, eran extranjeros, la mayoría: norteamericanos o europeos que se solidarizaron con los liberales; algunos con convicciones como Jack Mosby; otros, resultaron ser simples aventureros como Carl Rhys Price, que desapareció con los fondos recaudados.

El 9 de mayo los revolucionarios al mando de Sam Wood y Sam Pryce tomarán Tijuana, después de un día de combate; controlarán Tecate, Los Algodones y Tijuana, pero no podrán tomar Ensenada.

The Bravery of Dora (1912)

The Moving Picture World del 28 de diciembre de 1912 (Vol. XIV, No. 13, p. 1325) publicó una sinopsis de la película y anuncia como fecha de estreno el 31 de diciembre:

The Bravery of Dora (1912)

THE BRAVERY OF DORA (Dec. 31).—Dora Miller and her father together with Juan, a young half breed, live peacefully at their ranch along the Rio Grande. Juan is in love with Dora and she is not averse to him. One morning while the little family is seated at breakfast, shots are heard outside. A party of U. S. soldiers has been attacked by Mexican troops and retreating as they fight, finally taking refuge in the Miller homestead. The doors and windows are barricaded and a sharp fight ensues. Juan, the half breed, at first to fire against the people whose blood runs in his veins, but at last infuriated by the sight of a wound received by Dora, he grabs the rifle and begins firing furiously. Ho is thus engaged as the Mexican troops break into the house and is captured by them and locked in an upstairs room.

The commanding officer of the Mexican forces promises to shoot Juan the next miming. That night, however, Dora manages to get into the room where Juan is confined and smuggles to him a rope with which he escapes. The next morning, the Mexican officer sends for Juan to carry out his threat of shooting him and much to the surprise of the guard when the room is opened, out steps Dora. Furious at the escape of his victim, the Mexican promptly arrests Dora’s father and tells her that should her half breed lover not return by afternoon, the father will take his place in, front of a firing squad.

In the meantime, Juan is hastening at breakneck speed on a horse taken from the Mexicans, to secure aid. Arriving at the camp of an American patrol, he gets the sergeant in charge to accompany him and with the entire troop cavalry rushes back to the Miller homestead, arriving just in time to prevent the execution of the old man by the Mexicans.

 

The Moving Picture World del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 1, p. 20)
A thrilling story of ranch life, in which a skirmish between Mexicans and U. S. troops and the quick wit of a sweetheart play important parts. The Moving Picture World del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 1, p. 20)

En el Betzwood Movie Database se consigna sobre la cinta la siguiente información:

The Bravery of Dora

An elderly father and his daughter Dora discover Juan falling down by the side of the road and bring him back home to recover. Described as a half breed in the inter-titles [for unknown reasons], we are given to understand that Juan is half Mexican. The film seems to be set during the later Mexican Revolution, specifically in American territory in the Mexican Border War, which was fought between independence fighters, federals, and the various U.S. armed forces. Soon a U.S. Army division finds refuge in Dora’s family home, and there is a shoot-out with Mexican forces, in which the Mexicans prevail. Juan refuses to shoot at the Mexican side, citing mixed loyalties. Soon he is captured by the Mexican soldiers who nonetheless brand him a traitor and sentence him to death on the morrow. Dora hatches a plot to rescue Juan, as they have become attached, and helps him to escape. Juan races off to the US forces, who race back to the scene, saving Dora and her father who has now become a replacement for the missing Juan in punishment to Dora. According to the added titles, at the end Juan saves the day and wins Dora for his own.

Lubin Manufacturing Company, 1912. Running time: 17 minutes. Produced by Siegmund Lubin. Featuring Earl Metcalfe, Edna Payne and E.J. Phillips.

Library copy: DVD transfer of library VHS copy of Betzwood Archive 16mm film print, as restored by the Museum of Modern Art. Please note that the final scene featuring the rescue is missing, as noted in the inter-title added by the Museum of Modern Art at the time of their restoration of this film.

El periódico Colonist de Nueva Zelanda en el ejemplar del 25 de octubre de 1913 (Vol. LV, No. 13842, p. 7) en su columna Permanent Pictures dedicada a los espectáculos, publicó:

… On Monday (Labour Day) a special holiday matinee will be given, commencing at 2:30, when a complete new programme will be screened, headed by the Nat Pinkerton detective story, “The Secret Cupboard.” Other items are: “The Misunderstood Boy,” A. B. drama; “Calamity Anne’s Beauty,” Flying A. comedy; “Bravery of Dora,” Lubin. drama…

El periódico neozelandés Marlborough Express del 8 de diciembre de 1913 (Vol. XLVII, No. 288, p. 5)
El periódico neozelandés Marlborough Express del 8 de diciembre de 1913 (Vol. XLVII, No. 288, p. 5)

En La mirada circular (p. 169), Margarita de Orellana apunta que:

Una de las formas en las cuales el cine de ficción redimía a los mexicanos era cuando éstos se subordinaban a los estadounidenses, traicionando a sus paisanos. En El valor de Dora (1912), un personaje chicano se encuentra en un rancho norteamericano en medio de una batalla entre mexicanos y estadounidenses. Se niega a disparar contra los suyos, pero al ver cómo una bala hiere a Dora Miller, de quien está enamorado, dispara. Es al fin atrapado por los mexicanos y condenado a muerte por traición. Pronto lo salvan los militares norteamericanos.

Emilio García Riera en México visto por el cine extranjero (p. 54) menciona que:

Los defectos mexicanos eran naturalmente resaltados por el contraste con las virtudes anglosajonas, y si alguna virtud mexicana mereció aprecio, fue sobre todo la propiciadora de una conducta favorable y amistosa con los norteamericanos; así, por ser buenos con los gringos, algunos mexicanos se salvaron de la denigración en A Mexican’s Gratitude (1909), The Thread ofDestiny (1910), The Mexican’s Faith (1910), Tony the Greaser (1911 y 1914), The Bravery of Dora (1912), The Greaser (1915) y The Good in Him (1915).

La película fue producida por la Lubin Manufacturing Company; sin que sepamos quién la dirigió. Los intérpretes fueron Earl Metcalfe (Juan, el mestizo), Edna Payne (Dora) y E. J. Phillips (padre de Dora).

Acercamiento histórico al cine mudo en México; así como también es un atisbo al filmado y exhibido en Toluca

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