Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> WILLIAM S. HART
William S. Hart & Enid Markey
Silent Screen Stars

THE CAPTIVE GOD

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Enid Markey seems to have been a favorite leading lady for William S. Hart in 1915 and 1916. This scene is probably from "The Captive God," a 1916 Thomas Ince (Triangle Film Corp.) 5-reeler directed by Charles Swickard and written by Monte M. Katterjohn.

Plot summary, from the Internet Movie Database: A little Spanish boy (Hart) is shipwrecked and cast ashore in Mexico in the sixteenth century. Raised as a god by the Tehuan tribe, who have never before seen a white man, the boy is named Chiapa. At manhood, Chiapa rules the Tehuans. When the priestess Tecolote (Dorothy Dalton), whom he loves, is kidnapped by the Aztec warrior Mexitli (P. Dempsey Tabler), Chiapa follows in hopes of rescuing her.

Markey plays Lolomi. Also appearing are Robert McKim as Montezuma; Dorcas Matthews as Maya; Herbert Farjeon as Cacama; Bob Kortman as Tuyos; and William Desmond.

Markey did most of her acting from 1914-23, although she continued to make guest appearances in film and television as an elderly woman as late as 1968 ("The Boston Strangler"). Born Feb. 22, 1896 in Dillon, Colo., she died Nov. 15, 1981 at Bay Shore, Long Island, New York.


About 'The Captive God.'

From Koszarski (1980:48):

Produced by the Triangle Film Corporation under the supervision of Thomas H. Ince; distributed by Triangle; released July 23, 1916; production cost, $50,000 (per press release); five reels.

Directed by Charles Swickard; story and screenplay by Monte M. Katterjohn; photographed by Clyde DeVinna; art director, M. Doner.

CAST: William S. Hart (Chiapa); Enid Markey (Lolomi); Dorothy Dalton (Tecolote); Robert McKim (Montezuma); P.D. Tabler (Mexitli); Dorcas Matthews (Maya); Herbert Farjeon (Cacama); Robert Kortman (Tuyos).

SYNOPSIS: The picture tells the story of a little Spanish boy who is cast upon the shore of the east coast of Mexico early in the sixteenth century, when Mexico was dominated by the Aztec Indians. Never having seen a white person before, the local natives, a tribe called Tehuans, bring him up as a god and call him Chiapa.

When he reaches manhood, Chiapa is given authority over his entire tribe. He falls in love with the priestess, Tecolote, and she yields to his advances though she is quite unworthy of him, and encourages other suitors.

Then the Aztecs hear that under the white god the Tehuans are very prosperous, and start forth to conquer them. The Aztec army is under command of Mexitli, the chief general of Montezuma, the Emperor; and having conquered the Tehuans, carries off Tecolote as his personal slave.

Chiapa follows as a spy. In the garden of Montezuma, his is wounded by a guard; but Lolomi, the beautiful daughter of the Emperor, saves him. They fall in love. Meanwhile, Mexitli has tired of Tecolote, and now seeks the hand of the Princess Lolomi, who would rather die than have him. As the Emperor gives Mexitli his consent, he tries to get the princess by force, and in doing so discovers Chiapa.

Chiapa is sentenced to die at the end of the year on the sacrificial stone. But Lolomi, finding her pleas to her father of no avail, sends word to the Tehuans that their god is captive. An avenging army sweeps down, and there is brought about a sequence of thrilling scenes with a smashing finish. [Moving Picture World, July 29, 1916]

RELEASES AND REVIEWS: Weeks of painstaking research were required, merely to establish the accuracy of detail and the big Ince sculpture department spent not weeks, but months, in copying old Aztec carving and figures ... to make exact scale copies of Aztec temples and tombs required ... this play affords every Triangle exhibitor unlimited opportunity for effective lobby display, promotion, press work. ... It will not be hard to obtain a figure of an Indian god — anything of the ugly, prehistoric type will do, and it will be a big hit in the lobby... . [Triangle, July 8, 1916]

... It is not the story but the staging and marvelous accuracy in settings that ranks this far above the average photoplay ... whole villages and even a city with its royal palace was constructed to give the proper atmosphere. The capital city of the Aztecs realistically brings us that which we had only heretofore been able to read about in history books ... several battles are fought in the neighborhood of the city and the village and for realism they have seldom been excelled... . [New York Dramatic Mirror clipping, 1916]

The story is one of the type that has long held sway in the popular fiction magazines. It is at once thrilling and carries an air of mystic romance that is compelling ... the picture abounds with action and some of the battle scenes are most effective. The feature is one of the best the Triangle has released in some time. ["Fred.," Variety, July 7, 1916]

HART CATEGORIES:
• Stage Career
• Hart Films
• Publicity Photos
• Hart as Author
• WWI War Bonds
• Hart Mansion
• Hart in Retirement
• Personal Life
• Hart in Artwork

WILLIAM S. HART FILMS

WATCH FULL MOVIES
Keno Bates, Liar (1915)
Knight of the Trail (1915)
The Ruse (1915)
The Cradle of Courage (1920)
White Oak (1921)
Tumbleweeds (1925/1939)
ALSO:
Farewell to the Screen, from Tumbleweeds Re-release (1939)


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Biography
(Mitchell 1955)

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Biography
(Conlon/McCallum 1960)

Essay: The Good Bad Man (Griffith & Mayer 1957)


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Film Bio, Russia 1926

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The Disciple 1915/1923

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The Captive God 1916 x2

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The Aryan 1916 x2

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The Primal Lure 1916

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The Apostle of Vengeance (Mult.)

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Return of Draw Egan 1916 x2

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Truthful Tulliver 1917

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The Gun Fighter 1917 Theater Invoice

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Wolf Lowry 1917

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The Narrow Trail 1917 (mult.)

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Riddle Gawne 1918 x2

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"A Bullet for Berlin" 1918 (4th Series)

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The Border Wireless 9-29-1918 Rialto Premiere

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Branding Broadway 1918 x2

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Breed of Men 2-2-1919 Rivoli Premiere

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The Poppy Girl's Husband 3-23-1919 Rivoli Premiere

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The Money Corral 4-20-1919 Rialto Premiere

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Square Deal Sanderson 1919

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Wagon Tracks 1919 x2

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Sand 1920 Lantern Slide Image

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The Toll Gate 1920 x3

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The Cradle of Courage 1920

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The Testing Block 1920: Slides, Lobby Cards, Photos (Multiple)

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O'Malley/Mounted 1921 (Mult.)

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The Whistle 1921 (Mult.)

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White Oak 1921 (Mult.)

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Travelin' On 1921/22

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Three Word Brand 1921

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Wild Bill Hickok 1923 x2

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Singer Jim McKee 1924 (Mult.)

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"Tumbleweeds" 1925/1939

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