A Promotion Film for Canada

The Song that Reached His Heart
R: J. Searle Dawley. K: Henry Cronjager. D: Edwin August. P: Edison Manufacturing Company. USA / Canada 1910
Sponsored/presented by: Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR)
Print: Library of Congress Collection / National Archives of Canada

“A dramatic short made by the Edison Company during its tour of the Canadian west during the summer of 1910, shooting promotional films for the CPR. It was begun on June 7 and completed on July 18, with some additions made at Edison’s Bronx studio later. . . . The film was released on October 11, 1910.”
Colin Browne

Royal BC Museum / BC Archives

“By 1910 the Canadian Pacific Railway was sponsoring short melodramas with romantic plot lines, all calculated to encourage workers to migrate to Canada. Surviving examples include An Unselfish Love and The Song that Reached His Heart, each featuring a male working-class hero whose hard work on the resource frontier produced economic rewards and the reunion with a lost love.”
David Frank: In Search of the Canadian Labour Film. In: Malek Khouri, Darrell Varga: Working on Screen. University of Toronto Press 2006, p. 26

“The undertaking was an ambitious one. The Edison team of director J. Searle Dawley, cameraman Henry Cronjager, actors, actresses and technicians was to travel the entire length of the CPR line in a special train, filming at such locations as a lumber camp in British Columbia, an Alberta coal mine, irrigated farmland at Strathmore, a ranch at Red Deer, a silver mine at Field, and the Mont Lefroy Glacier above Lake Louise. In ‘Man to Man’ Magazine, writer Norman S. Rankin described the filmmakers’ objectives as though quoting from a CPR press release: ‘. . . to show the struggling farmer through the medium of the moving picture the premium that Western Canada offers for home-making and independence to the man of energy, ambition and small capital; to picture the range cattle, fat and happy, roaming the foothills of the mighty Rockies; to tell the piscatorial enthusiast of cool retreats beside rushing streams where the salmon and trout lurk beneath the rock’s overhanging shade; to whisper to the sportsman . . . .’ In two months during the summer of 1910 the Edison Company completed thirteen one-reel films of roughly ten minutes each, the standard length for films at that time. (…)
The other ten were dramas, and unfortunately only two are known to have survived. One of them, The Song that Reached His Heart, is a tale of a lumberjack in British Columbia described as ‘a man of brawn and muscle made rough and rude by his life and surroundings.’ But not to worry: the CPR brings civilizing influences and the love of a woman from the East to rescue him from base temptation.”
Hugh Aylmer Dempsey (ed.)
Library and Archives Canada

>>> more Dawley films on this website: Rescued from an Eagle’s NestFrankenstein