|Francis Ford, 1919|
Here is another Thomas Ince production (see the recent BITS review of his 1919 film with William S. Hart, Wagon Tracks). A short, 40-minute western, The Invaders tells a familiar story of U.S. Cavalry vs. Indians on the frontier.
The film is notable for its direction by Francis Ford, elder brother of John Ford. While active behind the camera during the silent era, with 177 directing credits, Francis worked chiefly as a film actor in Hollywood. IMDb lists a phenomenal total of nearly 500 on-screen appearances in mostly uncredited roles during 1909 – 1953.
Plot. The story concerns the breaking of a treaty with the Sioux, who are promised that settlers will be prevented from entering their lands. Trouble quickly ensues as a party of surveyors arrives to take topographical measurements for a transcontinental railway.
In a parallel plot thread, we learn that the Sioux chief’s daughter, Sky Star (Ann Little), is being courted by a member of the tribe, who attempts to trade for her with a gift of horses. Her father is happy with the deal, but she is not. Before long, one of the surveyors, who spies her in his scope, takes an amorous interest in her.