The Luck of Roaring Camp (1910)

Drama | 21 January 1910

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HISTORY

The 5 Feb 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “The reproduction of Bret Harte's most famous story is an achievement deserving the highest praise and when the work is done with such fidelity to the spirit of the time and occasion, the wild, rough, mining camp life around the time of ‘Forty-nine’ is so virile with human interest, and withal so typically American that one welcomes this picture because it puts in concrete form the characteristics of a time and the appearance of the men who made it. Some of the present generation have seen something approaching it, but none know much of what occurred a half century ago, excepting as they read of it. Adequate illustration is scarcely ever attempted, and more often than not when it is there is an artificial air about it which seems to stamp it as tainted with imaginary scenes and situations. But the Edison producers are not open to that charge. They have reproduced a typical mining camp of the time and present it with all the picturesque features of the original. The arrival of the widow and her child; her death soon after and the heterogeneous collection for the benefit of the child; his discovery of gold and adoption by the camp are all reproduced so faithfully that the figures seem almost like real personages as they move across the screen, performing their parts silently, but none the less graphically. After one has seen this excellent picture he will have a better idea of that wild, picturesque life which has passed away forever.”
       An item in the 15 Jan 1910 Moving Picture World made the ... More Less

The 5 Feb 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “The reproduction of Bret Harte's most famous story is an achievement deserving the highest praise and when the work is done with such fidelity to the spirit of the time and occasion, the wild, rough, mining camp life around the time of ‘Forty-nine’ is so virile with human interest, and withal so typically American that one welcomes this picture because it puts in concrete form the characteristics of a time and the appearance of the men who made it. Some of the present generation have seen something approaching it, but none know much of what occurred a half century ago, excepting as they read of it. Adequate illustration is scarcely ever attempted, and more often than not when it is there is an artificial air about it which seems to stamp it as tainted with imaginary scenes and situations. But the Edison producers are not open to that charge. They have reproduced a typical mining camp of the time and present it with all the picturesque features of the original. The arrival of the widow and her child; her death soon after and the heterogeneous collection for the benefit of the child; his discovery of gold and adoption by the camp are all reproduced so faithfully that the figures seem almost like real personages as they move across the screen, performing their parts silently, but none the less graphically. After one has seen this excellent picture he will have a better idea of that wild, picturesque life which has passed away forever.”
       An item in the 15 Jan 1910 Moving Picture World made the following commentary: “In this pictures the Edison Company has tried to preserve the Bret Harte flavor throughout and has followed the original story up to the last scene, where some liberty was taken with it in order to give the film a happy ending. It should prove a charming film because of the delightful blending of humor and pathos throughout and the exceptional opportunities the story suggests for photographic work.”
       This film shared a split-reel with The Coquette (1910, see entry).
       The Luck of Roaring Camp was remade as a sound film in 1937 (see entry). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
LCMP
p. 35, column 2.
Moving Picture News
15 Jan 1910
p. 13tl.
Moving Picture World
8 Jan 1910
p. 36tl.
Moving Picture World
15 Jan 1910
p. 55tn.
Moving Picture World
22 Jan 1910
p. 101ts, 102ta, 109tl.
Moving Picture World
5 Feb 1910
p. 168tr.
New York Clipper
15 Jan 1910
p. 1227tn.
NFAC3
p. 168.
Treasures from the Film Archives
p. 270.
Variety
29 Jan 1910
tr.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Luck of Roaring Camp" by Bret Harte in The Overland Monthly (San Francisco, Aug 1868).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 January 1910
Copyright Claimant:
Edison Mfg. Co.
Copyright Date:
21 January 1910
Copyright Number:
J137662-J137665
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
490
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

“Bret Harte's stories have for years stood as the standard of artistic and true delineation of Western life, in which field he was undoubtedly the first. Briefly, the story deals with a certain mining camp around the time of '49 and the arrival of a young wife from the East with her little boy. Her husband, who was one of the miners in the camp, has died, and it is left to the rough men gathered in the barroom on the widow's arrival to tell her of her loss. This they do in an uncouth way, but with some delicacy after all. She does not long survive the news of the loss of her husband, and the little child is left alone lacking a mother's care in such incongruous surroundings. How the miners take up a collection for the ‘kid,’ contributing personal ornaments, revolvers, knives and even a whiskey bottle, is shown, grotesquely perhaps, but in such a way as to cause tears rather than laughter. Finally the child, in playing near the camp, discovers gold and this leads to its formal adoption by the camp.”—22 Jan 1910 Moving Picture World ... +


“Bret Harte's stories have for years stood as the standard of artistic and true delineation of Western life, in which field he was undoubtedly the first. Briefly, the story deals with a certain mining camp around the time of '49 and the arrival of a young wife from the East with her little boy. Her husband, who was one of the miners in the camp, has died, and it is left to the rough men gathered in the barroom on the widow's arrival to tell her of her loss. This they do in an uncouth way, but with some delicacy after all. She does not long survive the news of the loss of her husband, and the little child is left alone lacking a mother's care in such incongruous surroundings. How the miners take up a collection for the ‘kid,’ contributing personal ornaments, revolvers, knives and even a whiskey bottle, is shown, grotesquely perhaps, but in such a way as to cause tears rather than laughter. Finally the child, in playing near the camp, discovers gold and this leads to its formal adoption by the camp.”—22 Jan 1910 Moving Picture World +

GENRE
Genre:


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.