Title: Amusements

Periodical: The Duluth News Tribune

Date: May 11, 1914

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There is something about files of infantrymen, troops of cavalry and batteries of artillery that stirs those who witness their evolutions. When seen in action one's blood races. When battles between United States regulars and Indians are fought out on moving picture films, there must be all kinds of "action" to put a theater audience on seats' edges. That is what those in the series "Our Indian Wars" did at the Orpheum yesterday afternoon and last night.

There is — or should be — in every man a fighting spirit. Scenes of mortal combat — a fight — coming just now with a renewal of hostilities in Mexico possible make "Our Indian Wars" of special interest, and without question does nothing to make the average American feel any more friendly to the Mexican, for one cannot forget that the Mexican is largely Indian, and it is the Indian who is fought in these Orpheum movies. Indeed, Huerta brags that he is "a common Indian." The United States troops shown in the movies fight "common" Indians and the uncommon Indian who by dint of physical prowess and cunning has risen to be chief.

"Here come our boys!" was the exclamation time and again when the Seventh cavalry and the Fifth cavalry swung into sight to attack their aborigine foe.

The chief figure in the pictures is William F. Cody. When he roamed the country where the Indian wars of the late 60's and early 70's were fought, he was necessarily more agile than when he refought some of these battles last autumn around the Bad Lands and his locks were then jet black. But the gray hair and the slower leap to the saddle constitute about all there is to remind the audience that "Buffalo Bill" is getting old. Cody appears time and again ahead of the troopers. He is the first to reach tops of ridges, he is the first to open an engagement, either by his mere presence or by his first shot; he is the one who leads the trail. The topography of the plains and of the Bad Lands as shown in the movies with the accompanying drama makes "fighting the Indians" real enough. The orchestra has a member who is an expert in causing sounds to be produced at the proper moment; hence, the crack of rifles, the clatter of hoofs, the boom of the machine gun leave little to be desired.

On the theory that the only good Indian is a dead one the U. S. troops killed a lot. On a different theory, the Indians captured two white women. This occcurs in the opening scenes where there is a representation of that most awful experience — the capture of an emigrant train by yelling cruel redskins, the slaying of every last man and child and the carrying off of the women. From then on there is plenty of excitement in which is fought the battle of Summit Springs in 1869; battle of War Bonnet Creek in 1876, and the engagements and skirmishes growing out of the Messiah Craze in 1890-91 which cost Sitting Bull his life and rendered the Sioux powerless to ever again foment a rebellion.

Only the duel between Buffalo Bill and Yellow Hand fails to come up to what might be expected, considering the general excellence of everything else. There is nothing to indicate the challenge from the Indian and the general "setting" for this brave exploit of Cody's is far from what "old Indian fighters" and those who perhaps would like to be expect.

But, otherwise, there is a fidelity to detail that makes the pictures most remarkable. The troops are not clad in the khaki as now required by the U. S. army regulations but in the old blue with which the public became so familiar after Custer and several companies of his command had been blotted out on the Little Big Horn. The savage Sioux is in evidence of course with all his war paint and eagle feathers. If one wants to see war and thinks the Mexican situation is too uncertain, he can become reasonably closely acquainted with this primal occupation by seeing "Our Indian Wars."

Everything in patriotic selections from "Tenting on the Old Camp Ground" back to "Hail! Columbia, Happy Land" is rendered by the orchestra.

The film will be seen throughout the week at the Orpheum.

Title: Amusements

Periodical: The Duluth News Tribune

Date: May 11, 1914

Topics: Buffalo Bill on Film

People: Sitting Bull, 1831-1890 Yellow Hand, 1850?-1876

Place: Warbonnet Creek (Neb.)

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