Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Read it and Weep

Image Courtesy Suzanne O'Connell
Back in the nineteen-teens, there was a time when Hollywood was losing interest in "Wetserns," and a seemingly new genre, the "Northern," was taking hold. Set in the frozen north -- but often filmed in winter in the California mountains -- these "snow pictures" in fact had nearly all the same features as "Westerns," with an added dose of melodrama; there were damsels in distress, bad guys with black (fur) hats, and chase scenes (only with dogsleds instead of horses). This still is from a lost film, Rollin Sturgeon's 1916 epic God's Country and the Woman; the actor on the right -- who seems to be quite satisfied with the contents of the paper in his hand -- is George Holt. I'm grateful to Holt's granddaughter, Suzanne O'Connell, for sharing this rare still.

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