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Under Southern Skies (Powers)

February 18, 2011

Under Southern Skies is a film that has been lost to history. Which is probably not such a bad thing.


MOVING PICTURE WORLD 8, No. 6 (11 February 1911): 336.



Synopsis in THE MOVING PICTURE WORLD 8, no. 7 (18 February 1911): 378.

Jacob McCloskey holds a martgage on the Peyton plantation and slaves. As he is about to forclose on the property he secures the freedom papers of an octaroom girl, named Hoe, with whom he is in love. Dora Sunnyside is desperately in love with George Peyton. He cares nothing for her as the octaroon girl claims his entire attention. Mr. Peyton, expecting important mail from Europe, sends Paul, one of the slaves to the landing. McCloskey, overhearing this, determines to get the bag. He arrives to late and finds the boy sitting on the bag having his picture taken. At the foreclosure sale McCloskey buys the octaroon girl, outbidding Dora Sunnyside. In the meantime, Paul, the slave, has been killed and the mail bag rifled. The struggle has been witnessed by an Indian. McCluskey and the octaroon are about to board the steamer Packet when McCloskey is accused of the murder of the boy. Pete, a negro, rushes on the scene with the photograph showing McCloskey, club in hand, standing over the boy. McCloskey is seized and put in irons and eventually escapes. He meets the Indian who saw him attack Paul and a terrific struggle and duel ensues between the two and the most realistic combat ever witnessed between two strong men takes place. The Indian eventually overpowers McCloskey and leaves him for dead and takes the glad tidings to the octaroon and George.

There was a play called Under Souther Skies, written by Charlotte (Lottie) Parker. It was also re-made by Universal in 1915. Were they all based on the same narrative? I don’t know.





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