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Screening: The Silent Enemy / An EVENING @ THE BARN

Hollywood Heritage and The Hollywood Foreign Press Association team up with Retroformat for a special screening of "The Silent Enemy" (1930) Wednesday, March 16th at 7:30PM. Please join us for this rare screening on 16MM film.

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Screening: The Silent Enemy / An EVENING @ THE BARN
Screening: The Silent Enemy / An EVENING @ THE BARN

Time & Location

Mar 16, 2022, 7:30 PM PDT

Los Angeles, 2100 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA


About the Event

In the tradition of Robert Flaherty and “Nanook of the North,” “The Silent Enemy” powerfully dramatizes a winter of famine as experienced by a tribe of Ojibway Indians. Producers W. Douglas Burden and William C. Chanler with director H.P. Carver assembled a cast of almost entirely indigenous people, and dedicated themselves to authenticity in the smallest details. Filming in northern Canada under severe winter conditions, the cast and crew lived in teepees and built all the hunting equipment and other tools seen in the film.During a terrible famine in the dead of winter, Chief Yellow Robe (Chauncey Yellow Robe) must decide whether the tribe will have to endure great hardship by migrating north to find caribou. Baluk (Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance), a young hunter, urges him to begin the trek, but Dagwan, the corrupt medicine man (Chief Akawanush), who wants to undermine Baluk’s relationship with Chief Yellow Robe’s daughter (Mary Alice Nelson Archambald), insists the tribe must stay, despite the almost certain risk of succumbing to the “silent enemy,” hunger. After the tribe endures a desperate search for food, the film climaxes in a magnificently filmed, thunderous stampede of caribou.The film’s editing took almost two years to complete. By the time “The Silent Enemy” premiered on May 19, 1930, the silent film, like the world of the Ojibway Indians, had almost disappeared. The producers added a fascinating sound prologue in the form of a speech spoken directly to the audience by Chief Yellow Robe, thanking the camera for preserving the images of traditional life to follow. However, despite the critical praise it received, sadly, no one wanted to see a silent film in 1930.While the film may ultimately qualify more as a wonderful work of fact-based fiction than as an anthropological document, it greatly succeeds, as its filmmakers intended, in honoring a lost culture and way of life, and as an exciting and impressive work of cinema.

The goal of The Hollywood Heritage Museum is to present films as they were originally presented, To this end, for the "Evening@theBarn" presentation of "The Silent Enemy" we have secured a print with the original spoken introduction and accompanying original score. This is a change from the announced silent screening of "The Silent Enemy" with musical accompaniment. Our thanks to Retroformat and to accompanist Cliff Retallick for allowing us to make this change and to present the film as it was originally seen in 1930.


  • Non Member

    +$0.50 service fee
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  • Member

    +$0.25 service fee
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