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The 8 Oct 1910 The Moving Picture World ran the following review: “The story of Pocahontas is always a popular one, but, like all well known stories, its success lies in the telling, and that is the charm of this new Thanhouser offering. We all know the story, but it was left for this enterprising concern to show us John Smith landing from the ‘Half Moon,’ which was borrowed for the occasion. This occurs at the very beginning and gives the film a stamp of reality that has seldom been attained in any historical subject. It is deserving to call special attention to this master stroke of realism. The story all through is sympathetic and true. All modern backgrounds are carefully dodged and we get nature unadorned. Still continuing along the line of reality, the minor Indian parts are played by the real natives, and for a wonder they act them right. Well selected water scenes follow each other and the detail throughout is as clear and sharp as a good lens and a fine light can make it. Add to all these the costuming, which we know to be correct, because costuming is one of the subjects upon which Mr. Thanhouser is known to be an authority; this added and we have a film that is nearly perfect in every department. It is needless to review the story itself, or to follow the scenes in detail. There is only one scene that was not altogether convincing and impressive, that being the reception of Pocahontas at the court of King James. This one scene appeared to lack to some extent what one would expect in such a ... More Less

The 8 Oct 1910 The Moving Picture World ran the following review: “The story of Pocahontas is always a popular one, but, like all well known stories, its success lies in the telling, and that is the charm of this new Thanhouser offering. We all know the story, but it was left for this enterprising concern to show us John Smith landing from the ‘Half Moon,’ which was borrowed for the occasion. This occurs at the very beginning and gives the film a stamp of reality that has seldom been attained in any historical subject. It is deserving to call special attention to this master stroke of realism. The story all through is sympathetic and true. All modern backgrounds are carefully dodged and we get nature unadorned. Still continuing along the line of reality, the minor Indian parts are played by the real natives, and for a wonder they act them right. Well selected water scenes follow each other and the detail throughout is as clear and sharp as a good lens and a fine light can make it. Add to all these the costuming, which we know to be correct, because costuming is one of the subjects upon which Mr. Thanhouser is known to be an authority; this added and we have a film that is nearly perfect in every department. It is needless to review the story itself, or to follow the scenes in detail. There is only one scene that was not altogether convincing and impressive, that being the reception of Pocahontas at the court of King James. This one scene appeared to lack to some extent what one would expect in such a scene. Rather unfortunate in arrangement because it did not give a glimpse of any throne, which, according to all precedent, must be in sight as an evidence of good faith, as well as for the ready grasp of the obtuse. Never leave a throne to the imagination. The scene seemed to lack the clement of grandeur, which, in many cases, is obtained by simplicity of line rather than ornate detail. In this scene the background is cut up with a number of queer shaped windows that have a tendency to draw the eye to them and away from the actors. To the average spectator this would pass without being analyzed, but the impression left is that of a conservatory or enclosed veranda. The windows being odd in shape, start one speculating unconsciously on their form. In all court presentations the acting must of necessity be perfunctory, and it lies with the surroundings to complete the idea of grandeur; hence this long paragraph, about a scene that forms but a small part of the picture. It is quite easy to believe that Mr. Thanhouser would be the first one to refute the assertion that his films have attained absolute perfection. In the first place he is too sensible a man to entertain such an idea, and secondly, there would be no more worlds for him to conquer. At the present writing the Thanhouser masterpiece is ‘Pocahontas.’” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Motion Picture News
1 Oct 1910
p. 2ta, 15ts, 16ar.
Moving Picture World
8 Oct 1910
pp. 788ta, 816-818ar.
Moving Picture World
15 Oct 1910
p. 892ts, 894tl.
Moving Picture World
22 Oct 1910
p. 939tr.
MPN
15 Oct 10
p. 18tl, 20tl[EMP].
MPN
22 Oct 10
p. 12nc.
MPN
5 Nov 10
p. 16tr.
MPN
3 Dec 10
p. 21tr.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 October 1910
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
1,000
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
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.