|The Battle at Elderbush Gulch|
|Directed by||D. W. Griffith|
|Written by||D. W. Griffith|
Henry Albert Phillips
|Cinematography||G. W. Bitzer|
|Distributed by||General Film Company|
The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (also known as The Battle of Elderbush Gulch) is a 1913 American silent Western film directed by D. W. Griffith and featuring Mae Marsh, Lillian Gish, and Lionel Barrymore.
Salley (Mae Marsh) and her little sister are sent to visit their three uncles in the west. Among other baggage, they bring their two puppies. Melissa (Lillian Gish) is in the same stagecoach with husband and newborn baby. The uncles find the little girls amusing but tell them that the dogs must stay outside. Meanwhile, a nearby tribe of evil looking Indians is having a tribal dance. The puppies left outside in a basket, run off. Sally, worried about the dogs goes outside and discovers they are gone. She follows their trail and runs into two hungry Indians who have captured them for food. There is a scuffle but her uncles arrive and intervene. Gunfire ensues and one of the Indians is left dead. The other Indian returns to the tribe to inform them and aroused by "savage hatred" they go into a war dance.
Meanwhile, a tearful Sally has persuaded a friendly hand to build a secret door in the cabin so she can bring the puppies inside at night. The Indians attack the village and the frightened settlers run off toward the lonely cabin. In the melee, the baby is captured by the Indians. The Indians attack the cabin just after a scout rides off to alert the fort.
The Indians ride in circles around the cabin, While the settlers try to fight them off. Melissa, in the cabin, is distraught worrying about the fate of her baby. Sally, more worried about her puppies, sneaks out her secret door and finds not only them but the baby in the arms of a dead Indian. In a hectic battle scene, she brings the baby back through the secret door. Just as the settlers are running out of ammunition, the cabin is burning, and the Indians, crawling on their stomachs, are almost in the cabin, the cavalry arrives. The Indians are quickly dispatched, all is well but for Melissa's grief over her missing baby. Sally pops out of a chest holding baby and puppies. All is well. The uncle agrees to let Sally keep the puppies inside.
- Mae Marsh - Sally
- Leslie Loveridge - The Waif
- Alfred Paget - Waifs' uncle
- Robert Harron - The father
- Lillian Gish - Mellisa Harlow
- Charles Hill Mailes - Ranch owner
- William A. Carroll - The Mexican
- Frank Opperman - Indian Chief
- Henry B. Walthall - Indian Chief's son
- Joseph McDermott - Waifs' guardian
- Jennie Lee - Waifs' guardian
- Lionel Barrymore
- Elmer Booth
- Kate Bruce - Settler
- Harry Carey
- Charles Gorman - Among the Indians
- Dell Henderson
- Elmo Lincoln - Cavalryman
- W. Chrystie Miller - Settler
- W. C. Robinson - Among the Indians
- Blanche Sweet
The movie has been criticized for being racist, adhering to white supremacy ideology and depicting and portraying Native Americans as primitive, ruthless, aggressive, hostile, barbaric and wild. The movie provides a negative and violent image of Native Americans in favor of white settlers.
- List of American films of 1913
- Harry Carey filmography
- D. W. Griffith filmography
- Lillian Gish filmography
- Blanche Sweet filmography
- Lionel Barrymore filmography
- "Progressive Silent Film List: The Battle at Elderbush Gulch". Silent Era. Retrieved June 13, 2008.
- Olson, Gerald Theodore, "The Evolution of an Image: An Analysis of Defining Depictions of Native Americans in Popular Cinema 1913-1970" (2013). Master's Theses. 4303. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31979/etd.3u5z-kqjb Access Link: https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/etd_theses/4303
- Jay, G. (2000). "White Man's Book No Good": D. W. Griffith and the American Indian. Cinema Journal, 39(4), 3-26. Retrieved August 4, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1225883. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1225883
- Melichar, Kenneth E., (2009). The Filmic Indian and Cultural Tourism: Indian Representations During the Period of Allotment and Forced Assimilation (1887-1928). University of Georgia (MA Thesis)
- "The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (1913)" – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
- "Reviews of The Battle of Elderbush Gulch". letterboxd.com.
- McLemore, Mark. "Native American Portrayals in Film History - AZPM". www.azpm.org.
- The Battle of Elderbush Gulch. The Best American Indian Movies. Retrieved August 5, 2021
- Forgeries of Memory and Meaning: Blacks and the Regimes of Race in American Theater and Film before World War II. Cedric J. Robinson. UNC Press Books. 2012. p. 122. ISBN 9781469606750. Accessed via Google Books. Retrieved August 5, 2021
- Sprouse, Rachel. (2021). Silence, Sound and Subtitles: Exploring Quechua, K'iche' and the History of Indigenous Languages in United States Film and Television. University of California, Los Angeles (MA Thesis). Pp. 12-14. Access Link. Retrieved August 5, 2021
- Making History: D. W. Griffith on DVD. Permanent Link
- The Battle at Elderbush Gulch at IMDb
- The Battle at Elderbush Gulch is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- The Battle of Elderbush Gulch - MOTOGRAPHY July 31, 1915
- The Battle at Elderbush Gulch Movie Poster
- MoMA | D. W. Griffith's The Battle at Elderbush Gulch and John Ford's Straight Shooting