Archivo de la etiqueta: México visto por el cine extranjero

Captain King’s Rescue (1912)

Una sola sinopsis publicó The Moving Picture World junto con un anuncio de varias cintas de la Lubin. En el ejemplar del 20 de abril (Vol. XII, No. 3, p. 258) se publicó la sinopsis:

CAPT. KING’S RESCUE (April 20).—In anticipation of probable trouble along the border, two troops of cavalry, in command of Captain King, are ordered to Douglas, Arizona, a little town along the Mexican border and a port of entry into Mexico.

As they approach the town, the captain halts his column and goes to a near-by ranch house seeking directions as to his course. He finds standing at the gate watching his troop, the owner of the ranch, his wife and daughter, a girl of about eighteen, and a suave young Mexican, evidently in love with the ranchman’s daughter. The captain gets the information he seeks and invites the family to visit the camp which the soldiers will make at Douglas. They accept the invitation. The officer quickly succumbs to the charms of the ranchman’s daughter, Pearl, much to the distaste of the Mexican, Pedro. Later captain King rescues a poor Indian who is being ill-treated by Pedro. Pearl’s father, who is a witness to the Mexican’s cruelty, forbids him to again come to his house. The Mexican plots to get the captain out of his way and thus secure revenge. With some of his gang he waylays the soldier, knocks him senseless and throws him down a deserted well. He had previously witnessed the departure of the ranchman and his wife from their home and knew that Pearl was alone at her home. The Indian who had been befriended by Captain King witnessed the action of the Mexican, and mounting his pony, rushes to the camp for aid.

He reports what he has seen to the commanding officer and a detail of troopers go back with him to the abandoned well. They rescue the captain and, with him at their bead, the party proceeds to the ranch in time to rescue the girl from the clutches of the Mexican.

También en el mismo semanario, pero en la página 198 se publicó el siguiente anuncio, donde la cinta comparte espacio con otras obras de la Lubin Manufacturing Company. La cinta se estrenó el 20 de abril de 1912:

The Moving Picture World del 20 de abril de 1912 (Vol. XII, No. 3, p. 198)
Capt. King, is command of a column of cavalry at Douglas, Arizona, becomes acquainted with the family of a ranchman and falls in love with Pearl, the eighteen-year-old daughter. He has , however, a rival, a suave Mexican, named Pedro. One day the captain sees the Mexican ill-treating a poor Indian; he rescues the Indian and Pedro is driven from he ranch. The Mexican in revenge seeks the life the captain, but the Indian gets aid from the camp and the would-be murderer is secured. The Moving Picture World del 20 de abril de 1912 (Vol. XII, No. 3, p. 198)

Por su parte Margarita de Orellana y Emilio García Riera en La mirada circular y México visto por el cine extranjero respectivamente, publican la misma traducción del escrito que se reproduce al inicio publicado en The Moving Picture World.

The American Insurrecto (1911) y The Insurrecto (1911)

De estas dos cintas existe una mínima información que consiste en breves sinopsis publicadas en The Moving Picture World; para la primera en el número del 25 de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. X. No. 8, p. 656) y un anuncio que publicita varias cintas de la compañía Kalem. La película se estrenó el 27 de noviembre de 1911 en Estados Unidos.

The Moving Picture World del 17 de noviembre de 1911 (vol. 10, No. 7, p. 596)
The Moving Picture World del 17 de noviembre de 1911 (vol. 10, No. 7, p. 596)

THE AMERICAN INSURRECTO (Nov. 27).—Dirk Lennard, a young American soldier of fortune, fighting for Mexican freedom, is pursued by Federal soldiers. Wounded and in sore straits, and his horse finally giving out. Lennard almost gives up hope. While sorely pressed and practically exhausted, he is discovered by Mona, an Indian girl.  Believing that the American would be better treated by the white people than by her own tribe, she helps Lennard to the nearby ranch of Don Silvestre, a Federal sympathizer. Dick is recognized by the don’s daughter from descriptions sent broad-cast. She tells her father he is a spy and a messenger is sent after the soldiers. Mona, learning of the white man’s dangerous plight, goes to the chief of her tribe, who has long been a suitor for her hand, and gives him her promise to marry him if he will save the paleface. The rescue is effected and Mona fulfills her promise.

No confundir la anterior cinta con la siguiente. Ambas películas son de la Kalem y fueron filmadas en 1911. A continuación un par de notas sobre The Insurrecto; ambas publicadas en The Moving Picture World del 22 de abril de 1911 (Vol. VIII, No. 16, p. 904):

The Insurrecto – Joe Benton finds his orange crop a failure and foreclosure inevitable. Learning that recruits are wanted for the insurrecto army in Lower California, Joe meets the leaders and is offered a huge sum to help intercept a train carrying ammunition. Their plans are interrupted and the insurrectos flee in all directions. Joe escapes to the mountains. In a lonely miner’s cabin be finds a rifle and determines to put up a stiff fight before being taken. Dick Martin, who has heard of the pursuit of the insurrectos, returning to his home, finds his rifle gone and correctly concludes the fleeing men have passed that way. Learning of the reward offered for their capture he follows their trail. Joe, while climbing a hill through the underbrush, accidentally shoots himself. Dick, who is not far behind, hears the shot and rushes to the scene. Joe tells Dick that he accidentally shot himself and is dying, and gives Dick the money the insurrectos have previously given him, asking Dick to take it to his wife. Dick carries the wounded insurrecto to the nearest settlement, but delivers a dead man to the marshal, who pays him the reward. True to his promise to Joe, Dick calls on his wife and tells her of his sad ending, at the same time giving her the money for which the husband had sacrificed his life. Dick, moved by Mrs. Benton’s sad plight, adds the reward to the young husband’s money and saves the home.

Y del 6 de mayo de 1911 (Vol. VIII, No. 18, p. 1019):

“The Insurrecto” (Kalem) — This story ostensibly represents some of the scenes in the present uprising in Mexico. But the picture presents nothing that would stamp it as connected with the Mexican difficulty except the presence of the ammunition train. Indeed, it might be made at any time and might be also merely a picture of any brush warfare The portion representing the insurrecto wounded and dying, as well as that which shows the sheriff’s posse and the capture of the wounded man by the miner, present none of the pomp of war; yet, perhaps the picture will be more beneficial than interesting for this reason if this represents the Mexican imbroglio accurately there is little inducement for soldiers of fortune to follow the insurrectos further into the Mexican domain.

Por su parte, Emilio García Riera en México visto por el cine extrajero menciona lo siguiente respecto a estas cintas de la Kalem:

Más común en las películas de la Kalem fue la expresión de un wishful 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 revoluciones mexicanos. Esta suerte de inversión imaginaria en heroismo y capacidad de mando (leadership), previsora de futuros beneficios políticos y económicos… (p. 49)

An Adventure on the Mexican Border (1913)

Esta cinta tuvo un publicidad exhaustiva con varios anuncios donde la Lubin Co. promovía sus películas. Pero vayamos en estricto orden cronológico.

Iniciamos con la revista Motography del 1 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 5, pp. 174-175) donde, caso raro, incluyen los intérpretes:

Two Reel Film of Mexican Border

A two-reel story coming at an opportune time, is the Lubin release of March 15, entitled “An Adventure on the Mexican Border.” It was written, produced and acted in, by Romaine Fielding. On the United States side of the line dividing Mexico from the United States, the United States soldiers are camped, with a view of protecting the international line and the citizens of the United States. Fifty yards on the other side, the Mexican soldiers are camped to do likewise for their country. One of the bright-eyed señoritas of the southern race captivates two officers, one a captain of her own nationality, the other a lieutenant belonging to Uncle Sam.

Motography del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 6, p. 10)
Motography del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 6, p. 10)

Both of these men, true and staunch in war and love, have a silent battle to gain the lady’s hand. The captain of the Mexican troops, being the older of the two, wins the maid by his quiet love and kindness. The irrepressible United States trooper tries to take the senorita’s heart by storm, but is repelled. On the spur of the moment, to punish his rival, the lieutenant tells a falsehood to his commanding officer, and nearly causes international complications; but after analyzing the situation, the lieutenant rises above all personal feelings and delivers the captain from jail, returns him to his fiancé across the line, and goes back to take his place and await his punishment.

The parts are taken as follows:

Romaine Fielding (a soldier of Mexico); Robyn Adair (A soldier of the United States);  Mary E. Ryan (the señorita); Eleanor Mason (her friend); Richard Wangemann (her father); Lieutenant Rudd (Captain of U. S. troops); Moritz Cytror (U. S. private); Henry Alrich (Mexican lieutenant).

Motography del 1 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 5, p. 6)
On the Mexican border line troops are camped. A señorita captivates two officers, one a Mexican Captain, whom she favors and the other a U. S. Lieutenant. The latter insenced by jealousy makes a false charge against the Mexican which causes national complications. His better nature however asserts itself and je vindicates his rival and gives himself up for punishment. Motography del 1 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 5, p. 6)

The Moving Picture World del 8 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 10, p. 1018):

An Adventure on the Mexican Border, (Mar. 15). — On the United States side of the line dividing Mexico from the United States, the U. S. soldiers camped, with a view to protecting the international line and the citizens of the United States. Fifty yards on the other side, the Mexican soldiers were camped to do likewise for their country. One of the bright-eyed senoritas of the southern race captivates two officers, one a captain of her own nationality, the other a lieutenant belonging to Uncle Sam. Both of these men, true and staunch in war and love, have a silent battle to gain the lady’s hand. The captain of the Mexican troops being the older of the two wins the maid by his quiet love and kindness. The irrepressible, impassionate United States trooper, tries to take the senorita’s heart by storm, but is repelled. On the spur of the moment, to punish his rival, the United States lieutenant tells a falsehood to his commanding officer, and nearly causes international complications, but after coolly analyzing the situation, the lieutenant raises above all petty personal feelings and delivers the captain from jail, returns him to his fianceé across the line, and goes back to take his place and  await his punishment.

En un anuncio publicado en Motography del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 6, p. 10)  apareció la siguiente información:

“An Adventure on the Mexican Border”

Lubin Drama in Two Parts. Released March 15, 1913

A timely film story, dealing with the troops encamped on both sides of the border between the United States and Mexico. A lieutenant of the United States army and a captain of the Mexican troops are silently battling for the love of a bright eyed señorita. The captain is successful. The lieutenant in a fit of passionate anger, tells his commanding officer of an alleged breach of the existing martial law by the Mexican Captain. Complications follow, but a careful analysis of the situation prompts the lieutenant to release the imprisoned captain and return to face his punishment.

Motography del 8 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 6, p. 10)
Motography del 8 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 6, p. 10)

En otro anuncio de la Lubin publicado en The Moving Picture World del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 11, p. 1073) se aportan los datos siguientes:

“An Adventure on the Mexican Border”

A timely film story, dealing with the troops encamped on both sides of the border between the United States and Mexico. A lieutenant of the United States Army and a captain of the Mexican troops are silently battling for the love of a bright-eyed senorita. The captain is successful. The lieutenant in a fit of passionate anger tells his commanding officer of an alleged breach of the existing martial law by the Mexican captain. Complications follow, but a careful analysis of the situation prompts the lieutenant to release the imprisoned captain and return to face his punishment.

The Moving Picture World del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 11, p. 1073)
The Moving Picture World del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 11, p. 1073)

Por último una nota de The Moving Picture World del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 11, p. 1113):

AN ADVENTURE ON THE MEXICAN BORDER (Lubin).

This is a two-reel special of the Lubin Company and a dramatic photoplay showing the heroism of the American soldier. Love drives him to fault, but his manhood prevails and shows him to be “true blue.” It is a story of Romaine Fielding, who is directing the Lubin Company at Nogales, Arizona, and it is safe to say that this excellent actor is giving true atmosphere.

The Moving Picture World del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 11, p. 1113)
The Moving Picture World del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 11, p. 1113)

On the United States side of the line dividing Mexico from the United States the United States soldiers camped, with a view of protecting the international line and the citizens. Fifty yards on the other side are the Mexican soldiers. One of the bright-eyed senoritas of the southern race captivates two officers, one a captain of her own nationality, the other a lieutenant belonging to Uncle Sam. Both of these men have a silent battle to gain the girl’s hand. The captain of the Mexican troops, being the older of the two, wins the maid by his quiet love and kindness. The irrepressible trooper tries to take the senorita’s heart by storm, but is repelled. On the spur of the moment, to punish his rival, the lieutenant tells a falsehood, but after coolly analyzing the situation the lieutenant raises above all petty personal feelings and delivers the captain from jail, returns him to his fianceé across the line, and goes back to take his place and await his punishment.

The Moving Picture World del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No.  11, p. 1074)
A thrilling love story, showing the nerve-raching trials of a Mexican girl choosing between her Mexican lover and one of Uncle Sam’s troopers. The Moving Picture World del 15 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 11, p. 1074)

Emilio García Riera en su multicitada obra México visto por el cine extranjero, tomo I, apunta que:

El director y galán Romaine Fielding, al servicio de la Lubin, advirtió en An Adventure on the Mexican Border (1913) la inconveniencia para los norteamericanos de cruzar la frontera, por mucho que los “ojos brillantes” de una “señorita” (The Moving Picture World, Vol. XV, ene-mar 1913, marzo 8, 1913, p. 1018) lo provocaran, pues eso podía costar un “incidente internacional”. (p. 51)

Remata García Riera que “se admitió incluso en algunas [cintas] la preferencia legítima del amor de un mexicano al de un norteamericano, como ocurría en The Mexican Sweethearts (1909), The Señorita (1909), A Knot in the Plot (1910) y An adventure on the Mexican Border (1913). (pág. 55)

Por lo que corresponde a la ficha filmográfica y sinopsis de la película, García Riera da los siguientes datos en el tomo II de su obra citada:

1306 / 15. An adventure on the Mexican Border. Producción: EU (Lubin), 1913. Dirección y argumento: Romaine Fielding. Intérpretes: Romaine Fielding, Mary Ryan, Robin Adair. 2 rollos. En el lado norteamericano de la frontera, unas tropas acampadas protegen a los ciudadanos del país. No muy lejos, en el otro lado, unos soldados mexicanos hacen algo semejante. Dos oficiales, uno mexicano y otro norteamericano, compiten por el amor de una señorita mexicana. Vence el mexicano, mayor que su rival, gracias a su discreción y a su generosidad. El norteamericano, un teniente impulsivo, es rechazado cuando trata de ganar a la mexicana por la fuerza. En venganza, el teniente cuenta una mentira que casi provoca un incidente internacional, pero acaba por recapacitar, poniendo de lado sus intereses personales: saca al mexicano (un capitán) de la cárcel, lo devuelve a su novia y atraviesa la frontera para enfrentar un justo castigo. (p. 34)

A Prisoner of Mexico (1911)

De esta cinta, Emilio García Riera en su obra México visto por el cine extranjero, comenta lo siguiente:

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 Insurrectos, y dos de noviembre, A Prisoner of Mexico y The American Insurrecto — propusieron a héroes a norteamericanos como cabecillas de revolucionarios mexicanos. Esa suerte de inversión imaginaria en heroísmo y capacidad de mando (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. Después, los acontecimientos verdaderos de la revolución mexicana debieron desalentar tales fantasías, pero no al grado de cancelarlas; se preferiría, como veremos en el siguiente capítulo, ubicarlas en países latinoamericanos utópicos, inventados, pero muy parecidos a México. (p. 49)

The Moving Picture World del 7 de octubre de 1911 (Vol, 10, no. 1, p. 99)
The Moving Picture World del 7 de octubre de 1911 (Vol, 10, no. 1, p. 99)

Por su parte, Margarita de Orellana en su multicitada La mirada circular menciona:

El lado mexicano de la frontera, en las películas norteamericanas, es un lugar donde se respira un aire de anarquía y de confusión. La zona fronteriza que separa a Estados Unidos de México está llena de aventuras y peligros. Durante la Revolución esa zona se vuelve aun más salvaje para quienes la miran desde el lado norteamericano. El que intenta cruzar esa línea divisoria se pone inmediatamente en peligro. En Prisionera de México (1911), Ethel queda accidentalmente atrapada en un tren que la lleva del otro lado de la frontera. Cae en manos de soldados federales mexicanos y su vida corre peligro hasta que es salvada por su novio norteamericano, quien la regresa de nuevo a San Diego, volviendo a cruzar esa zona de peligro para refugiarse en su tierra natal donde reina la libertad y la tranquilidad. (pp. 157-158)

The Motion Picture Story Magazine de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. II, No. p. 66)
The Motion Picture Story Magazine de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. II, No. p. 66)

Continúa De Orellana con una breve sinopsis:

Cuando se inició la Revolución Mexicana un norteamericano, Paul Mason, simpatizante de la causa, decidió reunir a un grupo de jóvenes compatriotas y lanzarse a luchar con los mexicanos dejando atrás a su novia, Ethel Davis.

Caminando con su perro por la estación de ferrocarril, Ethel queda atrapada en un carro al intentar sacar a su perro que se le había escapado.

Doce horas más tarde el tren que había salido del pueblo se detiene en el interior de México donde se hallan soldados federales. Uno de ellos encuentra a Ethel y ella ruega al general Álvarez que la regrese a su país. Éste le explica que los insurgentes tienen controlada toda la vía del tren y pone a Ethel bajo el cuidado de su esposa.

En otro lugar los insurgentes suben carga en un tren para conducirlo a un pueblo que han tomado. Paul está en la escolta y es descubierto por unos federales. Después de una escaramuza los rebeldes son tomados prisioneros. En la prisión federal Ethel reconoce a su novio y juntos logran escapar, pero son atrapados nuevamente por los federales. Finalmente son rescatados por los norteamericanos y Paul lleva a Ethel a casa. (pp. 181-182)

The Motion Picture Story Magazine de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. II, No. 10, p. 67)
The Motion Picture Story Magazine de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. II, No. 10, p. 67)

En The Moving Picture World del 21 de octubre de 1911 (Vol. X, No. 3, p. 226) se publica una sinopsis, la cual toma De Orallena para la suya:

A Prisoner of Mexico (Oct. 23). – When the Mexican Revolution stroke out Paul Mason’s sympathies for the Insurgents led him to volunteer his services in assisting their cause. Gathering a number of adventurous young Americans, he took leave of Ethel Davis, his sweetheart, and started for Mexico.

A few days after Paul’s departure, Ethel meets with a peculiar accident. As she walks past the railroad yards in her San Diego home, her pet dog becomes attracted by something within an open box car, which he proceeds to Investigate. Ethel follows her pet, but no sooner enters the car than the door is closed by a railroad employee, who knows nothing of what has taken place. The train is made up and starts on its journey with Ethel a prisoner within the closed box car.

Twelve hours later the train halts at a small town In the Mexican interior where Federal soldiers are quartered. In passing the train a soldier hears a cry within one of the cars. The door is opened and Ethel, weak and exhausted from her imprisonment, is lifted to the ground. She begs to be returned home, and General Alvarez explains that the Insurgents have control of the railroad line. Ethel is placed in care of the wife of the Federal jailer.

Just at this time the insurgents’ pack train starts out to carry supplies to a besieged town nearby. Paul gathers his men and escorts the train. A troop of Federals discover the party and overtake them after a sharp fight. Paul is led away a prisoner. At the jail he is recognized by Ethel, who affects his escape. The two fugitives are discovered and followed by the Federals, whose rifle shots are heard by the Insurgents.  The Insurgents come to the rescue of the two Americans and put their pursuers to rout. The end of hostilities enables Paul to conduct Ethel to their American home.

 The Motion Picture Story Magazine de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. II, No. 10, p. 69)
The Motion Picture Story Magazine de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. II, No. 10, p. 69)

Y en la misma revista, pero la correspondiente al 4 de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. X, No. 5, p. 380) aparece un muy breve comentario de la cinta:

“A Prisoner in Mexico” (Kalem), October 23.—A very romantic adventure during the recent disturbances in Mexico. Both the hero and the heroine of the picture are Americans. The man is an insurrecto and captain of the “American Legion,” a troop of adventurous horsemen. The story tells how both he and his old sweetheart happened to be in the hands of the Mexican Federals. The girl helps the man to escape from his prison. In the pursuit, over the nearby hills, the two are nearly retaken, but are saved. The “leader” reads: “The American Legion to the Rescue.” It is not a very ably designed picture, but it is not dull. The audience watched it in silence, but it seemed to be following it, which isn’t done always when conventional “Westerns” are on the screen.

The Motion Picture Story Magazine de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. II, No. 10, p. 71)
The Motion Picture Story Magazine de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. II, No. 10, p. 71)

Cabe mencionar que The Motion Picture Story Magazine de noviembre de 1911 (Vol. II, No. 10, pp. 65-71) publicó una narración basada en la cinta y escrita por Emmett Campbell Hall con varios fotogramas de la película, los cuales aparecen publicadas aquí.

The Mexican Joan of Arc (1911)

En México visto por el cine extranjero, Emilio García Riera documenta lo siguiente sobre esta película:

Como se ve, la Biograph, prestigiada por el trabajo de Griffith, no quiso meterse en líos revolucionarios. Fueron la Lubin (fundada en Filadelfia, en 1897, por Sigmund Lubin) y la Kalem de Chicago (fundada en 1907 por George Klein, Samuel Long y Frank Marion) las compañías más ocupadas en inventar una revolución mexicana para el público de los nickelodeons, un público que el trust insistía en imaginar compuesto por algo así como retrasados mentales. (Bueno: tampoco los productores eran, ellos mismos, intelectualmente refinados y ajenos a los más vulgares incentivos de la codicia.)

Por eso, no es del todo creíble la publicidad de la Kalem que presumió en The Moving Picture World (23 de julio de 1911) de haber filmado en México su cinta The Mexican Joan of Arc.

… se inspiró en un hecho real: el asesinato en Sonora, a principios de 1911 de Severino Talamantes y sus dos hijos, Severino y Arnulfo, por los porfiristas y la consiguiente conversión de la viuda Talamantes en una vengadora jefa de guerrilleros. Resulta dudoso que la cinta fuera realmente filmada en México, pero eso no quita el mérito de su apoyo, excepcional para la época, en hechos verdaderos. (pp. 48-49)

The Moving Picture World del 15 de julio de 1911 (Vol. IX, No. 1,  p. 9)
The Moving Picture World del 15 de julio de 1911 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 9)

La cinta The Mexican Joan of Arc trata sobre un hecho real y Margarita de Orellana profundiza en su obra La mirada circular donde comenta que:

A mediados de 1911 se realiza una película que tiene diferencias con las otras que se hicieron sobre la Revolución Mexicana en esa misma época. Vale la pena comentar algunas de sus características porque está basada en un hecho real y ambientada con los requisitos indispensables del exotismo, además de que no entra completamente en los esquemas imaginarios que son redundantes en casi todas las películas que se hicieron sobre el tema. Esta cinta se llama La Juana de Arco mexicana y fue realizada por la Kalem en julio de 1911, dos meses después de la partida de Porfirio Díaz.

En ella se hace alusión a la crueldad y a la injusticia del gobierno de Díaz y se retoma el caso real de una mujer que se levantó en armas contra el gobierno para vengar la ejecución arbitraria de su esposo y de sus hijos. La Juana de Arco mexicana es una narración que alcanza una demensión épica excepcional, comparándola con las películas que se habían hecho sobre el tema y con las que se harían en los siguientes años. El melodrama de la mujer que pierde a su familia y el ambiente exótico son rebasados por la fuerza dramática con la que se representa el levantamiento popular.

Los productores buscaron la atención del público no solamente por medio del interés de la intriga, o su inserción en la actualidad o con su exotismo, sino además por la dimensión mítica que en sí misma tenía la historia de una mujer que ya era leyenda. (p. 154)

The Moving Picture World de julio 29, 1911 (Vol. IX, No. 3, p. 181)
La Juana de Arco mexicana es la verdadera historia de la viuda de Talamantes. Todas las escenas de esta historia fueron tomadas en México y muchos de los actores que representan a los personajes son auténticos mexicanos e indios. La historia de la relación de la viuda de Talamantes con la reciente Revolución Mexicana es bien conocida de todos los lectores de la prensa cotidiana, puesto que ha sido contada por todos los periódicos importantes del mundo. The Moving Picture World del 29 de julio de 1911 (Vol. IX, No. 3, p. 181)

(En esta película todos los actores aparecían con la cara pintada de negro para enfatizar el hecho de que se trataba de mexicanos. Parece que esto era frecuente en esos años en el cine norteamericano). (p. 181)

The Moving Picture World del 15 de julio de 1911 (Vol. IX, No. 9, p. 19) publicó un reseña de W. Stephen Bush donde el “crítico” expresa admiración por la cinta y exterioriza las bondades de la misma

THE MEXICAN JOAN OF ARC (Kalem)

Reviewied by W. Stephen Bush

The great empire to the south of us has often in the past been the theater of bloody and stirring events, but its annals hold no record of a more truly elemental tragedy than is told in this silent drama. It is a true story, well attested by the Mexican press and authentic American news dispatcher. A plain woman of the people, content to be nothing more than a faithful wife and loving mother is suddenly plunged into a fearful anxiety for the lives of her husband and sons. President Díaz, bold in his youth, resolute in his prime and bloody in his old age, suspecting like the half-mad emperors of old Rome danger where there was no danger, causes through his “jefe politico” the arrest of Talamantes and his two sons. They are torn from the bosom of their family and rushed to a “corte,” nominally a court of justice, but as a matter of fact nothing but a legal convenience for the designs of the despot. The dictator’s tool, one Zefas, is drunk, when Talamantes and his sons are arraigned before him and even in his drunken mood he condemns father and sons to death. The sentence is promptly carried out, even while the wife and mother pleads for mercy or delay with the drunken military judge. The halting utterances of the judge make her understand the frightful truth, that she is a widow and a twice-bereaved mother. The widow swears to be avenged upon Zefas and his master and becomes indeed the Nemesis of the wretched Zefas and contributes not a little to the success of the insurrection and the dethronement and the thinly disguised Hi the tyrant Díaz such in very few words is the story.

It possesses a tragic power greater than that of “Joan of Arc.” The latter was impelled by patriotism, moved by heavenly visions to come to the aid of her king. It was not the woman, not the sweetheart, wife or mother that stirred within her when she confronted Talbot and Salisbury, but the Frenchwoman, the loyal subject of the French king. As a motive for action, patriotism, however laudable, cannot for a moment compare with the far deeper and more primitive and elemental emotion of wife’s and mother’s love.

A woman roused and determined and spurred on by the wrongs the has suffered as a wife and mother rises at once to heroic size in the eyes of any audience and gives the play a power and dignity, which, it would otherwise not possess. The widow Talamantes eared nothing about the insurrection in itself, she uses the insurrection as a means to an end and thereby lifts the whole story into a higher plane of dramatic force and interest. What must otherwise have been a common tale of war and politics now becomes a tragedy in the truest sense of that word.

The Moving Picture World del 15 de julio de 1911 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 19)
The Moving Picture World del 15 de julio de 1911 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 19)

There is so much other merit in this film, as will appear presently, that it would rise above the level of the ordinary, even if the part of the widow Talamantes had not been taken by a competent and gifted artist. As a matter of fact, however, the actress, Jane Wolf, who essayed this difficult role, measured up to every inch of her responsibilities. Her great test came with the scene in the “corte federal.” which she entered as a half-broken, pleading woman and left a few minutes afterwards like a very goddess of vengeance, “filled to the top with direst cruelty.” None but a chosen votary of the histrionic art could have done the work she accomplished. When the awful truth at last dawned upon her and she realized that husband and sons were dead she manifested in all her despair and fury that control and poise, which is of the essence of art. Her oath of vengeance was a consummate piece of acting. All other characters in the play were of course subordinated to that of the widow Talamantes, but whatever she needed of capable support was well supplied by the rest of the company. The latter, it must be specially mentioned, were not the regular Kalem players, but all Mexicans, half-breeds and Indians. How much more eloquent the Southern races are with their faces and their hands and fingers than we of more Northern origin was again illustrated in the course of this reel and it was a most pleasant relief to see real Mexicans, real half-breeds and real Mexican Indians after the caricatures that nightly parade through the films of the cheaper sort.

The play possesses an uncommon historic value, first because it deals with an authentic contemporaneous event, and second, because it shows us the real Mexico as it exists to-day. All the pictures were taken on Mexican soil in the very neighborhood in which the actual scenes in the tragedy, as reported by the newspapers, had taken place. It is a way of teaching history and geography which cannot be surpassed. For such an education, conveyed in such manner children and grown people will alike be thankful. We know to-day but little more than our grandfathers about the land of the “conquistadores,” but with the modern moving picture this will soon be changed.

One word more about the last scene. When vengeance has been wreaked on Zefas the title tells us, and so does without words the widow Talamantes: “Now I will go back to my people.” It is a fine dramatic conclusion, which no audience can fail to perceive and appreciate.

También en The Moving Picture World, pero del 29 de julio de 1911 (Vol. IX, No. 3, p. 223) apareció la siguiente breve sinopsis; sin embargo utilizan un nombre distinto para el personaje del oficial federal: Coronel Cephis a diferencia de la reseña anterior donde utilizan Zefas.

THE MEXICAN JOAN OF ARC (July 31) KALEM

Señor Talamantes and his sons are arrested as insurrecto suspects. Colonel Cephis, of the Mexican regular army, condemns them to death without trial. The Widow Talamantes swears retribution for the unjust death of her husband and sons. Carrying out her plans, the widow organizes a company of Indians and Mexicans and joins the insurrectos. The Widow Talamantes sends a disguised insurrecto to Colonel Cephis’ headquarters, who induces the Colonel to spend the night in a small Mexican hotel. The next morning Colonel Cephis awakes to find the town in the hands of the insurrectos. While attempting flight he is ambuscaded by the Widow Talamantes and her little band of insurrectos and captured. A drum-head court martial quickly condemns him to death. The widow’s mission being completed, she returns to her people.

The Moving Picture World del 8 de julio de 1911 (Vol. VIII, No. 27, p. 1561)
The Moving Picture World del 8 de julio de 1911 (Vol. VIII, No. 27, p. 1561)

Por último, la nota sobre un exhibidor en Seatttle que apostó por la cinta. Nota publicada en The Moving Picture World del 19 de agosto de 1911 (Vol. IX, No. 6, p. 470):

The Circuit Theater, of this city [Seattle], secured Kalem´s Historical Drama, “The Mexican Joan of Arc,” and ranks as one of the best productions Kalem has turned out. Manager Levy states they play to very good houses during the four-day stay.