Vanishing American, The

970. THE VANISHING AMERICAN (1925-USA). WITH Richard Dix, Lois Wilson, Noah BEERY. From the novel by ZANE GREY. One of the great silent epicsÑa spectacular Western that blends fast- moving action, magnificently staged battles, complex character studies, and thoughtful considerations of the tragedy of the American Indian. This visually stunning movie was filmed partly in Utah’s Monument Valley; the breathtaking setting that would later be used for many John Ford Westerns. Following an ambitious proÂlogue that tells the Indians’ story from prehistoric times through their bloody wars with the U.S. Cavalry and their ultimate subjugation in the 1800’s, the film focuses on their plight at the turn of the 20th century. The film is largely the tale of one man: Nophate (Richard Dix), a proud and intelligent warrior who tries to provide a bridge between the Indians’ ancient and honorable traditions and the abuses, humiliations and broken promÂises of the modern era. Nophate carries on a hopeless, unrequited infatuation with a sensitive white schoolÂteacher, and a bitter conflict with an exploitative white Indian agent. When the U.S. enters World War I, Nophate convinces his people to join the fight, hoping that victory for America will help bring about a better life for the Indians. He and his friends perform valiantly in the thick of battle, but their homecomingÑin which they are ignored, robbed or exploitedÑdecisively convinces them that the original Americans are indeed a vanishing race. A landmark of the Western genre, and a moving tribute to a noble people. Silent film with music score, correct projection speed. 153 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Western