Movie Review: Rose o’ Salem Town (1910)
Rose o’ Salem Town (1910)
Director: D. W. Griffith
Cast: Dorothy West, Clara T. Bracy, Henry B. Walthall
Synopsis: A deacon accuses her young girl and her mother of being witches.
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A typical D. W. Griffith vehicle which sees comely young Dorothy West (A Child of the Ghetto, The House with Closed Shutters) sexually harassed by a dastardly deacon just minutes after meeting a nice young trapper who has fallen head over heels for her. When young Dorothy rejects the Deacon’s advances he decides that vengeance will be his by accusing her and her mother of being witches and having them burned at the stake. A bit harsh when you think about it, but some people don’t handle rejection well.
The climax of Rose o’ Salem Town makes use of the cross-cutting for which Griffith would become justly famous, switching between Dorothy being prepared for barbecuing while her trapper beau (Henry Walthall – the Avenging Conscience, Birth of a Nation) summons the aid of the local Indian tribe to ride to her rescue. It’s pretty good stuff, told at a nicely zippy pace.
(Reviewed 3rd February 2012)