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The 14 Sep 1918 Exhibitors Herald and Motography announced that actress Norma Talmadge’s next project was a screen version of George Scarborough’s 1916 play, The Heart of Wetona. Filming took place at Lasky Studios in Los Angeles, CA, as stated in the Jan 1919 Photoplay.
       An article in the 2 Nov 1918 Motion Picture News revealed that principal photography was delayed for one week due to an outbreak of Spanish influenza while on location in Idyllwild, CA, where the majority of scenes were filmed. Director Sidney A. Franklin and cast members Thomas Meighan, Gladden James, and Chief Dark Cloud fell victim to the virus. All survived except Dark Cloud, whose scenes had to be retaken with another actor. The Mar 1919 Picture-Play listed several other challenges faced by the company, such as delays caused by sporadic snowfall, and an “ox chase” in which one horse stumbled while descending a mountainside, causing several other horses and riders to pile on top of it. Production ended during the week of 9 Nov 1918, as noted in the 30 Nov 1918 Moving Picture World. According to the 14 Dec 1918 Moving Picture World and 28 Dec 1918 Motion Picture News, the cast included approximately twenty “gorgeously dressed” Comanche men and women. Among them were Princess Uwane Yea, reputed to be the granddaughter of one of the chiefs who defeated Gen. George Custer. Various sources have stated that actors White Eagle, Black Wolf, and Black Lizard were genuine chiefs of the Comanche nation, and that Norma Talmadge was made ...

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The 14 Sep 1918 Exhibitors Herald and Motography announced that actress Norma Talmadge’s next project was a screen version of George Scarborough’s 1916 play, The Heart of Wetona. Filming took place at Lasky Studios in Los Angeles, CA, as stated in the Jan 1919 Photoplay.
       An article in the 2 Nov 1918 Motion Picture News revealed that principal photography was delayed for one week due to an outbreak of Spanish influenza while on location in Idyllwild, CA, where the majority of scenes were filmed. Director Sidney A. Franklin and cast members Thomas Meighan, Gladden James, and Chief Dark Cloud fell victim to the virus. All survived except Dark Cloud, whose scenes had to be retaken with another actor. The Mar 1919 Picture-Play listed several other challenges faced by the company, such as delays caused by sporadic snowfall, and an “ox chase” in which one horse stumbled while descending a mountainside, causing several other horses and riders to pile on top of it. Production ended during the week of 9 Nov 1918, as noted in the 30 Nov 1918 Moving Picture World. According to the 14 Dec 1918 Moving Picture World and 28 Dec 1918 Motion Picture News, the cast included approximately twenty “gorgeously dressed” Comanche men and women. Among them were Princess Uwane Yea, reputed to be the granddaughter of one of the chiefs who defeated Gen. George Custer. Various sources have stated that actors White Eagle, Black Wolf, and Black Lizard were genuine chiefs of the Comanche nation, and that Norma Talmadge was made an honorary Comanche princess during production.
       The Heart of Wetona was released on 5 Jan 1919, followed by a New York City opening that same week at the Rivoli Theatre. A Los Angeles opening followed during the week of 10 Feb 1919 at Tally’s Theatre. Although reviews were generally enthusiastic, the 10 Jan 1919 Var and the Apr 1919 Photoplay both noted inconsistencies in “Wetona’s” dialogue as it appeared in the subtitles. Despite her education at an Eastern private school, Wetona often used the same broken English spoken by her fellow Comanches.
       The scenario was adapted as a short story by Faith Service for the Feb 1919 Motion Picture Classic.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald and Motography
14 Sep 1918
p. 30
Exhibitors Trade Review
28 Dec 1918
p. 345
Motion Picture Classic
Feb 1919
p. 33
Motion Picture News
1 Jun 1918
p. 3276
Motion Picture News
12 Oct 1918
p. 2379
Motion Picture News
2 Nov 1918
p. 7
Motion Picture News
23 Nov 1918
p. 3104
Motion Picture News
28 Dec 1918
p. 3869
Motion Picture News
4 Jan 1919
p. 146
Motion Picture News
18 Jan 1919
p. 459
Motion Picture News
1 Mar 1919
p. 5
Moving Picture World
2 Nov 1918
p. 595
Moving Picture World
30 Nov 1918
p. 938
Moving Picture World
14 Dec 1918
p. 1238
Moving Picture World
4 Jan 1919
p. 114
Moving Picture World
11 Jan 1919
pp. 252-253
Moving Picture World
18 Jan 1919
p. 335
New York Times
6 Jan 1919
p. 11
Photoplay
Jan 1919
p. 76
Photoplay
Mar 1919
p. 98
Photoplay
Apr 1919
p. 80
Picture-Play
Mar 1919
pp. 136-137
Variety
10 Jan 1919
p. 24, 45
Wid's Daily
24 Dec 1918
---
Wid's Daily
29 Dec 1918
p. 15
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play, The Heart of Wetona by George Scarborough (1916).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
5 January 1919
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 5 Jan 1919; Los Angeles opening: week of 10 Feb 1919
Production Date:
early Oct--week of 9 Nov 1918
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Norma Talmadge Film Corp.
13 December 1918
LP13144
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
5,265
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Wetona, the mixed-race daughter of Chief Quannah, admits to being betrayed by her white lover. She seeks help from government agent John Hardin, but her angry father mistakes the young man for her lover and demands that they marry. John is secretly in love with Wetona and agrees to the marriage, unaware that he has saved the life of his friend and assistant, Tony Wells. Wetona soon discovers that Tony never loved her, and witnesses his cowardice during a Blackfoot raid on John's home. When Quannah learns the truth, he stops the raid, apologizes to John, and shoots Tony as he flees. Although Quannah asks Wetona to return to the tribe, she prefers to remain with her ...

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Wetona, the mixed-race daughter of Chief Quannah, admits to being betrayed by her white lover. She seeks help from government agent John Hardin, but her angry father mistakes the young man for her lover and demands that they marry. John is secretly in love with Wetona and agrees to the marriage, unaware that he has saved the life of his friend and assistant, Tony Wells. Wetona soon discovers that Tony never loved her, and witnesses his cowardice during a Blackfoot raid on John's home. When Quannah learns the truth, he stops the raid, apologizes to John, and shoots Tony as he flees. Although Quannah asks Wetona to return to the tribe, she prefers to remain with her husband.

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

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