MAY 19, 1930


The Silent Enemy, shot in the Temagami region of Ontario, was an American silent film focused on an Ojibway Indian’s struggle for food before the coming of Columbus.  The drama, starring Chief Chauncey Yellow Robe, his daughter Spotted Elk Yellow Robe, Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance, Chief Akawanush and Molly Spotted Elk, premiered at the Criterion Theater in New York City and was later distributed by Paramount Pictures that August.  The film was unique for its early use of Indigenous actors and relied on  the detailed accounts of French missionaries documented in The Jesuit Relations during the writing of the screenplay.  In a spoken prologue, Chief Yellow Robe introduced the film.  Having been talked into doing his part by his daughter, sadly, he would die before the premier.  

Source:  “The Silent Enemy (1930),” TCM.  Retrieved 3/1/2020,
 Mordaunt Hall, “The Screen,” The New York Times, 5/20/1930.  Retrieved 3/1/2020,
Movie Poster:  Paramount Pictures (1930).  Fair Use.    

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