Wild West

John P. Medbury
Walter A. Futter
John P. Medbury, young girl named Elsie
Run Time: 
Nu-Art Film Company

NOTE: This film contains demeaning and offensive material and may not be suitable for all viewers.  It reflects stereotypes of Native peoples prevalent in the 1930s. Its attitudes are not those of the American Indian Film Gallery.


Film Editor:  David Miller
Establishing shot:  The scene opens overlooking a mountainous region. Canyons as well as trees can be seen in the shot as well. The scene is described as “the great wild west, to Indian territory.”
Named locations:  No named locations
Major themes covered: Overview of different native cultures (fictional)
Native activities shown: A  woman walking through the village;  Men and women dressed in native attire, standing; A papoose in a cradleboard; Making sand paintings; Children dancing; A war party preparing for war; Snake dance (Hopi); Indians raiding a town;
Individuals Named:   All fake: Chief Rain-in-the-Face and his wife, April-Showers; Big-Chief-Whoop; Chief Running-Water and his sons, Clean and Dirty; Chief Running-Water's daughters, Hot and Cold; Sitting Bull; Sitting Bull's daughter, Sitting Pretty; Many-Ha-Ha, daughter of Running-Water; Big Chief Run-on-the-Bank;
Native language spoken:  No native languages represented
Audible?  Good quality narration
Noteworthy elements:  A vivid example of the negative stereotypes of Native Americans in the 1930s.
Other notes: Disclaimer: at one point a young female narrator refers to Native Americans as “red caps.” The narrator also jokes about the “chief” of the village buying a new car and teaching his wife how to drive. The names given to the Hopi also seem to be fictional, and stereotypical. Several 'native men' actually appears to be of Asian descent. The young female narrator also fears that the Indians are going to “scalp” her. The narrator also prides his grandfather on being a “buck hunter” who killed Indians. “Redskins” is a common reference. Very negative stereotypes of Native Americans throughout the film.