April 20, 2008 Subject:
This film is not from a feature silent film but from a nicely shot 'B' movie from the early 1930s. The main characters, a woodsman and his faithful Indian companion, may be based upon the Nattie Bumpo series of 19th century novels by J. F. Cooper. The scenes of river crossings and storms are excellent. The historic value of this generation's view of how the 18th and 19th century pioneers lived is also interesting. This film is "Hollywood" and attention to cost is evident in the use of horses rather than oxen to pull the wagons which are of a mixed, anachronistic design. Overall it is a good film if taken in context with the era in which it was made.
April 2, 2005 Subject:
I'm sure this film uses footage from a silent version of `Daniel Boone`. This means the shots are far more sophisticated than you would normally find on an educational film. The downside is that the narration is very much led by the available scenes rather than what needs to be said. This explains the emphasis over the blessing of the expedition, the overly dramatic Indian attacks and mention of the 'colonial powers' trying to take the land away from the settlers. Clearly these are elements from the film story rather than main educational points about the subject.
By chance, an early drama-documentry!
September 29, 2004 Subject:
Go West, Young Man, to Freedom (Except If You're an Indian)
This is a fairly straightforward social studies film about American pioneers making their first forays into the west, crossing the Appalachian mountains into what would later be Kentucky. The reenactments shown on screen seem pretty authentic for the most part, and the acting is good, though you dont get to hear anyone speak since the film is narrated. The attitude of the film towards Indians, though, will make you wincethey are constantly portrayed at ruthless killers. Mostly, though, this is pretty ordinary.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.