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The Goose Creek Claim (Revier)

January 11, 2011

The Revier Motion Picture Company, like Yankee and Champion, was one of many new American production companies founded in 1910. But it was the only one located in Salt Lake City, Utah. These new companies were formed amid increasing demand for more product, and in the face of legal challenges to their rights to operate without licensing Edison’s patents. Not only did Revier declare itself “independent,” along with the other non-licensed companies, it also boldly and publicly rejected IMP‘s attempts to organize a distribution firm that would help the independents compete with the MPPC’s (aka the Edison trust) General Film Company.

This advertisement for The Goose Creek Claim is a document that attests to the power struggles not only between the big Trust (the MPPC) and its unlicensed competitors (the independents), but among the independents.

Advertisement for The Goldcreek Claim in THE MOVING PICTURE WORLD 8, no. 2 (14 January 1911): 65

THE MOVING PICTURE WORLD 8, no. 2 (14 January 1911): 65

The “little trust” this ad refers to is Carl Laemmle’s Motion Picture Distributing and Sales Company.

Was this a precursor to the Mormon media production concerns of today?

A google search for”Revier Motion Picture Company” did turn up the following:

D. Michael Quinn's 1997 THE MORMON HIERARCHY: EXTENSIONS OF POWER, has something to say about the Revier Motion Picture Company

Disclaimer: I haven't actually read this book, or even this page.

And David Hulfish, in the 1915 edition of his guidebook for industry folks and aspirants, Motion-Picture Work describes the company’s logo as depicting a temple (205).

But if H. Revier, founder of Revier Motion Picture Company was Mormon, I can’t imagine that he made his church’s leadership very happy with The Goose Creek Claim. The synopsis published in the Moving Picture World suggests quite a lurid tale:

John Price, an old miner, and his daughter Bessie run upon a rich placer. One day, while panning for the precious metal, he slips, resulting in his injury. Drawing a map of the surroundings on her handkerchief at his dictation, they pack up and start for home. Deviating from the trodden road they become lost and running upon the camp of two prospectors, one a Canadian named Pierre and the other Dawson, they are given assistance. Pierre’s unsociability is noticeable but Dawson offers his packhorse to the limping old man. In departing the handkerchief with the map is dropped, and Pierre finding it steals his fellow prospector’s horse and follows the pair. His opportunity comes when the girl is left alone a moment, but his advances are repelled. The handkerchief is shown her whereupon she offers to shoot but is over-powered and taken prisoner. Bound and gagged, she is absolutely within his power. However, while being freed long enough to eat she seizes a fire brand and lashing her captor across the eyes, temporarily blinding him, makes her escape. Pursuit follows, however, and she is overtaken on the cliff. In the meantime Miner Price returns, and finding his daughter missing, retraces his steps to the camp of those that befriended him and learns of the steal of the Canadian, both taking up the hunt. They come upon the scene just as the villain reaches the brink of the precipice, which surprise causes him to jump to his death in the bottomless ravine and the restoration of the girl to her father.

References:

Bowser, Eileen. The Transformation of Cinema 1907-1915. University of California Press, 1994. First published 1990. 78-81

Hullfish, David S. Motion-Picture Work. Chicago: American School of Correspondence, 1915.

“The Goosecreek Claim” reviewed in The Moving Picture World 8, no. 2. (14 January 1911): 98

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