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The Girl from God's Country

Réalisé par Nell Shipman et Bert Van Tuyle
États-Unis, 1921 (fiction, noir et blanc)
Autre titre : « Neeka of the Northlands »
The Girl from God's Country
Image : Mansfield News (Ohio), 22 novembre 1921

Description du film [en anglais] :
« The Girl from God's Country (presumed lost; seven-to-nine-reels) [...] was a large-budget, long, epic feature, complete with airplanes, fires, and an earthquake. »
-- Kay Armatage (source)

Description du film [en anglais] :
« The star assumes a dual role in the greatest of all [Nell] Shipman pictures. As Neeka, 'the girl of the outdoors,' she plays a distinctly different characterization than that of Marion Carslake, the daughter of a millionaire. The story deals with a sensational trans-Pacific airplane flight planned by Carslake, known to the world as the 'wizard of the air,' but in reality his inventions have been made by a 'crazed' inventor living in a lonely hut in the sand dunes. This inventor provides 'solidified gasoline' for the flight. Carslake's daughter, Marion, is angered at her father's adoption of Neeka, a girl of the north woods, not realizing that Neeka is her real sister and the daughter of Carslake. Otto Kraus, owner of the rival plane, the K-12, makes an effort to steal the formula. He accepts a position as butler in the Carslake mansion and there tricks Neeka into securing the formula. When Neeka realizes that she has turned traitor to her real father, she follows Kraus in another plane. A thrilling battle in mid-air follows, in which Neeka is saved by a parachute drop. The finale of the story is laid 'on the other side of the world' at the gates of a Japanese village, where two lovers kiss while the cherry blossoms fall up them in silent benediction. »
-- Hartford Courant (source)

Générique (partiel) :
Scénario : Nell Shipman
Produit par : Nell Shipman
Interprètes principaux : Nell Shipman, Edmund Burns, Al W. Filson, George Berrell, Walt Whitman, Cecil Van Auker, Boyd Irwin, Lillian Leighton, L.M. Wells, Milla Davenport
Images : Joseph B. Walker
Montage images : Nell Shipman
Musique : Errol Collins
Société de production : Nell Shipman Productions

Notes sur The Girl from God's Country


Citations de la réalisatrice [en anglais]

« [The Girl from God's Country] opened at Mr. Clune's Broadway house and everyone liked it because there was something it it for everyone to like! A real sockeroo, twelve reels of whizz and bang. Too long for a top half of dual bookings. [Bert] Van Tuyle and I caught it on general release in Santa Ana cut to nine reels. Murdered, slaughtered, senseless—well, perhaps it never boasted much sense but it did hang together. Not at 9000 feet! Toes that trod the continuity trail, fingers pointing the way, eyes expressing explanatory emotions in close-ups which registered character reactions, in fact entire sequences lopped off the torso and left bleeding on a sneaky cutting room floor. [...] I, then and there, hot under the wolverine collar of my genuine leather coat, banging my brief case in my rage, hied me to a Western Union office and broadcast a paid full-page ad to every trade paper in the Industry. It was addressed to Mr. 'Exhibitor' and it begged him [...] to not book my maltreated, malformed, abortion of a picture. [...] Some of the more important trade papers did not accept the copy. Would-be, Sandlot producers did not buck theatre owners, big-time Studios, Louis B. Mayer or Bill Clune. They shut up and slunk away to lick their celluloid wounds. Was I black-balled in the business? I really don't know for certain. I do know I was spanked, that henceforth I heard strange, sharp sounds as if some doors down a long corridor were slammed shut. »
-- Nell Shipman (source)

« [With The Girl from God's Country] I had achieved the ultimate of an actor's desire: twin characters shot in double exposure. That I wrote the scenario for myself and presented myself with not only unlimited flying time but many weeks on location in the High Sierras at Kings River Canyon, must be considered sheer opportunism. »
-- Nell Shipman (source)

Citations sur The Girl from God's Country [en anglais]

« It would, of course, be extremely intersting to see The Girl from God's Country, particularly in relation to questions of the representation of race and cultural identity, for in the film Shipman takes the part of an 'other' for the first time in her films. »
-- Kay Armatage (source)

« 'Nell Shipman in The Girl from God's Country, the outdoor animal drama, released by Wid Gunning, Inc. has been received by the big exhibitor circuits as one of the strongest box-office cards of the fall and winter season,' according to reports which have reached the Wid Gunning home office recently. 'Miss Shipman, surrounded by her bears, dogs, and other animals, starred in Back to God's Country, the pioneer in the field of Canadian outdoor films. She is now author, star, director and producer of The Girl from God's Country, another story of the North Woods. [...]' »
-- Exhibitors Trade Review (source)

« Having cast herself in both of the parts [in The Girl from God's Country, Nell] Shipman's personal sympathy was with the 'half-breed' girl [Neeka]. One sign of this affinity may be that Shipman had made the blonde Marion character a member of a hunting party, and we know how the scenarist felt about that particular sport. [...] In addition, the Neeka character seems to have been the heroine of the story in terms of morals as well as of narrative agency: an honest girl with guts, performing sensational acts of stamina and bravery for the sake of others and being rewarded for it with romantic love. »
-- Annette Förster (source)

« As the girl [in The Girl from God's Country], Miss [Nell] Shipman is a Northwestern Mowgli, Opal Whitely, St. Francis of Assisi and Carmen. She juggles wildcats, skunks, bears, deer, raccoons and mountain lions with a dexterity that Martin Johnson might well envy, keeping them in the confines of her rough-hewn mountain cabin as pets. In her idle moments she fights with the village folk. Not content with this simple life, she goes to the effete East (California), parachutes from an aeroplane, climbs on board again and ends the story in Japan, having won the America-to-Asia flight for the Carslake Airplane Works. She also plays the part of her civilized half-sister. Perilously near to ham as The Girl from God's Country frequently is, Miss Shipman's vigorous personality makes it, and as she makes it, it is well worth watching. »
-- Henry William Hanemann (source)

« Nell Shipman as star, author and director of a tremendous outdoor photoplay, The Girl from God's Country, offers the greatest screen attraction of the season. She handles a difficult role in one of the most thrilling action melodramas ever photographed for a motion picture. »
-- Hartford Courant (source)

« Those who like a mixture of artificial sentiment, nature study, and compressed serial stuff will doubtless find a certain amount in this film to interest them. Otherwise, there only seems to be two reasons for it ever being made—to show the star in a number of wild animal shots, which are certainly interesting but of no value whatever to the story, and to give her the opportunity of doing a number of 'stunts' in the accepted manner of serial heroines. »
-- Kinematograph Weekly (source)

« A packed house at each performance greeted Nell Shipman in The Girl from God's Country, which opened last night at the Capitol Theater. This picture is Miss Shipman's greatest production. It even surpasses her famous Back to God's Country and others of its type. Beautiful snow scenes taken in the Canadian North Woods offer the finest bit of photoplay seen here in years. The little Nell Shipman animal actors, including Brownie, the bear, do some great work in the North Woods scenes. Another feature of the picture is a thrilling airplane battle 6,000 feet in mid-air, in which Miss Shipman makes a daring leap by parachute when the wing of her plane is broken in the encounter. This is the greatest airplane scene ever made for a motion picture. »
-- The Leader (Regina) (source)

« Clune's [...] reopened yesterday with one of the most magnificent productions of the season, The Girl from God's Country, with Nell Shipman, star and author of the production, in one of her own delightful stories of the Far North. [...] The Girl from God's Country is a screen drama, involving the life story, with its pathos and humor, of a little French-Canadian girl, Neeka by name, an orphan being cared for by her old grandfather, a trapper and guide, and old Notawa, an Indian woman. Intrigue, vindication and revenge entangle the plot, in which a big love interest is interwoven, and the thrills of intense dramatic climaxes, unusual and original, make the picture extraordinary and different. In this picture Miss Shipman plays a dual role. Miss Shipman's animals are seen doing the things that make them even more famous than they were in past northern pictures with the star. For scenic beauty of the great outdoors, there is nothing that can surpass that of the Far North, with its ice-clad mountains, frozen rivers, magnificent woods and snow, all touches which add atmosphere to this story of the North. »
-- Los Angeles Times (source)

« The story starts calmly enough, although there are enough wild animals in the early scenes [of The Girl from God's Country] to populate several menageries. Miss Shipman is hail-fellow-well-met with bears, mountain lions, wild cats, deer, foxes and even the exclusive skunk. It is after the rescue of Carslake from the river and Neeka's transplanting to his California home that the real excitement begins. There is enough in the last three reels for a dozen serials, all the way from an earthquake to a trans-Pacific airplane race in which Neeka and a blind aviator do amazing things. »
-- San Francisco Chronicle (source)

« The Girl from God's Country, a seven-part feature presented by W.H. Clune and released by the F.B. Warren Corp. proves one thing, and that is that Nell Shipman, the authoress and star of the production, should stick to acting in the future and leave the writing of her stories to someone better qualified. In direction Miss Shipman might also have had someone on the salary list qualified for that position instead of taking it on herself to do everything to be done. She not only has written and directed, but played three parts in the story. Two of the parts were mighty important and the third was a bit in a single shot. In reality The Girl from God's Country is a serial that has been done as a feature. It has all the impossible thrill producing stunts that one would expect in a serial that is destined for the entertainment of the veriest lowbrows, but which seem entirely out of place in a feature. »
-- Variety (source)

Bibliographie sur The Girl from God's Country

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