With Daniel Boone Thru the Wilderness is an early black and white silent film portraying a short period in the life of famed Kentucky frontiersman Daniel Boone. Boone and his comical sidekick Hank Vaughan fight the escapades of Simon Gerty, a “renegade” white who manipulates the Native Americans to assist him in his evil ways. Gerty twice kidnaps and attempts to molest Rebe Bryan, a beautiful young settler whom Boone is courting. Boone rescues her both times. Gerty also has eyes for a friendly Native American chief’s (Chief Grey Eagle) daughter. His evil intentions eventually lead to trouble and the murder of the chief’s son. The innocent white settlers are blamed, and an all-out battle ensues between the natives and the settlers. In the nick of time, Boone uncovers Gerty’s schemes, saves Rebe (for the second time) and the chief’s daughter, and reconciles the battling natives and settlers. Gerty is delivered to Grey Eagle for retribution. Daniel Boone and Rebe Bryan, now in love, finally kiss as the screen fades to black at the end.
Director Robert North Bradbury has an eye for the exciting, the entertaining, the amusing, and the romantic in this early frontier story. A 1926 audience would surely devour this somewhat historically based film.
Copyright © 2000 by Matt Sparks, Undergraduate at Lehigh University
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