Daughter of the West (February 15, 1949)

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Daughter of the West
 

Released on February 15, 1949: A young teacher helps the Arizona Navajo Reservation when they are hoodwinked out of valuable mineral deposits by the evil Indian Commissioner.

Directed by Harold Daniels

The Actors: Martha Vickers (Lolita Moreno), Phillip Reed (Navo White Eagle), Donald Woods (Commissioner Ralph C. Connors), Marion Carney (Okeeman), Pedro de Cordoba (Chief Wykomas), James Griffith (Jed Morgan), William Farnum (Father Valleio), Luz Alba (Wateeka), Tommy Cook (Ponca), Tommy Barr (Yuba), Helen Servis (Mrs. Beggs), Milton Kibbee (Mr. Beggs), Chris Willow Bird (medicine man)

 

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Navajo Adventure

One of the saddest things that I encounter as I watch the first decades of motion pictures is the terrible bigotry against good people who are different . . . different skin color . . . different education levels . . . . so many times we think that 'different' means 'bad' . . . how sad. By running away from 'different' we run away from so much 'good' different without realizing it. Anyway, the first part of this motion picture involves the display of predjudice between Navajo Indians and 'white men' - and the predjudice goes both ways. Indeed, if you look beneath the surface of the movie to the movie cast you still see signs of hidden predjudices . . . . the Navajo Chief Wykomas is played by an actor named 'Pedro' - now, no offence to Latin Americans, but I doubt that there ever has been a Navajo Indian with the given name of 'Pedro.' Okay, I've had my say at what offends me, now it's time for a pretty good tale about a Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona. On this reservation of proud Navajos we add three important characters - first we meet a young lady raised in the Mission San Juan Capistrano who decides that she would like to make her mark on the world by travelling to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and become a teacher bringing education to the good tribesmen. On the way she meets Navo White Eagle, a Navajo man who is returning to the tribe after studying for several years at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. This is a real school that operated from 1879 until 1918 and was funded by the Federal Government to board and teach American Indians and help them to become part of the country that was quickly being settled by Europeans. This school taught over 1,000 Native Americans from 39 different tribes, and was the place that famous football legend 'Pop' Warner started his football coaching career, and where he coached the famous Native American Jim Thorpe . . . but again I digress . . . . please forgive. The third character we need to know is the newly appointed Government Commissioner to the reservation who becomes the bad guy in the story that we will hiss as he tricks the Native Americans into signing away their rights to valuable mineral deposits in the nearby mountains. And have no fear, gentle movie fans, the bad guys will get their just rewards, and the good guys will persevere. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show. Now, before I go away today, please permit me one more intrusion that is not movie related . . . I've enjoyed popping just about every sort of popcorn available, including 'Indian Corn' or the multi-colored kernels that we usually see in the fall as decorations for the harvest. In my humble opinion, both the Indian Corn and the smaller black kernels usually sold as 'Black Diamond' corn tend to pop a bit drier and tougher than the white kernel variety . . . but even they are better tasting than the large, dry, thoroughly unacceptable (at least to me) yellow kernel corn that dominates 90% of the popcorn on the market. Trust me, if you search well and find white kernel popcorn (you can even find microwave versions of white kernel popcorn), you will enjoy the difference.

Donald Woods and James Griffith
Donald Woods and James Griffith
Donald Woods and Martha Vickers
Donald Woods and Martha Vickers
Donald Woods and Phillip Reed
Donald Woods and Phillip Reed
Donald Woods as Commissioner Ralph Conners
Donald Woods as Commissioner Ralph Conners
Donald Woods kisses Marion Carney
Donald Woods kisses Marion Carney
James Griffith as Jed Morgan
James Griffith as Jed Morgan
Luz Alba as mother Wateeka
Luz Alba as mother Wateeka
Marion Carney and Tony Barr
Marion Carney and Tony Barr
Marion Carney as Okeeman, the Chief's daughter
Marion Carney as Okeeman, the Chief's daughter
Martha Vickers and Luz Alba watch Phillip Reed walk across the hot coals
Martha Vickers and Luz Alba watch Phillip Reed walk across the hot coals
Martha Vickers and Pedro de Cordoba
Martha Vickers and Pedro de Cordoba
Martha Vickers and Phillip Reed
Martha Vickers and Phillip Reed
Martha Vickers and William Farnum
Martha Vickers and William Farnum
Martha Vickers as Lolita Moreno
Martha Vickers as Lolita Moreno
Milton Kibbee and Helen Servis
Milton Kibbee and Helen Servis
Pedro de Cordoba as Chief Wykomas
Pedro de Cordoba as Chief Wykomas
Phillip Reed and Luz Alba
Phillip Reed and Luz Alba
Phillip Reed and Marion Carney
Phillip Reed and Marion Carney
Phillip Reed and Martha Vickers
Phillip Reed and Martha Vickers
Phillip Reed and Pedro de Cordoba
Phillip Reed and Pedro de Cordoba
Phillip Reed and Tony Barr
Phillip Reed and Tony Barr
Phillip Reed as Navo White Eagle
Phillip Reed as Navo White Eagle
Tony Barr as Yuba
Tony Barr as Yuba
William Farnum as Father Valleio
William Farnum as Father Valleio