White Fawn’s Devotion (1910)    1 Stars


White Fawn's Devotion (1910)
White Fawn’s Devotion (1910)


Director: James Young Deer

Cast: Red Wing

Synopsis: A frantic child reports to the tribal chief that her father killed her mother. The tribe chases and captures the man, dragging him back for tribal justice.






The title of this early Native American movie is as misleading and confusing as the film’s plot. White Fawn really isn’t that devoted to her white husband. In fact, she’s something of a drama queen whose over-the-top histrionics are the reason for her other half being hunted down and almost killed by the local Indian – sorry, Native American – tribe. Upon learning that he must travel to London to claim a fortune left to him by an unknown Uncle, White Fawn throws a right hissy fit, even going so far as to plunge a knife into her own chest. It’s devotion of a kind, I suppose, but of the bunny-boiling, look-what-you-made-me-do-you-bastard variety which nobody wishes to have directed at them. Anyway, mistakenly believing White Fawn to be dead, the couple’s young daughter runs to the local Indian – sorry, Native American – tribe to erroneously inform them that her father has killed her mother. Naturally, the Indians give chase, sparking one of cinema’s least exciting pursuits. Back in the very first years of the 20th Century, there was something of a craze for chase movies (E.G. How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the ‘New York Herald’ Personal Columns (1904)), but these movies were cobbled together with no thought given to editing, and James Young Deer, the director of White Fawn’s Devotion does little to improve on those primitive movies. The twist ending makes no sense at all, and the whole movie comes across as poorly conceived and executed.

(Reviewed 27th December 2014)

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