Lost and Won

Brother Bill
R: Ralph Ince. B: Ralph Ince. D: Ned Finley, Edith Storey, Chester Hess, Kingsley Higgins, Frank Tyrell. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1913
Print: EYE (Desmet collection)
Dutch titles

“An offering with a very interesting situation, full of the life of the back-woods. In its setting of wild scenes it gets over pretty powerfully. The two central roles are played by Edith Storey and Ned Finley (Bill). Bill’s brother has fallen in love with a girl in the mountain village and has made a tough character there jealous. Bill, to save his brother, comes to town and, in a dramatic scene, takes the girl from a village dance by force. It is now very dramatically shown, how the two fall in love with each other. In doing this the leading players acquit themselves most creditably and arc well supported by Chester Hess, in the role of Jim. The whole story is clear and the scenes, are well photographed for the most part. It makes a good offering.”
The Moving Picture World, April 5, 1913

“Because of the proximity of the actual West, in time and in place, it is important to acknowledge a contemporary dimension to Westerns that are set in modern times. Through contemporaneity, a film like Mexican Filibusters can be considered part of the Western family, just like The Colonel’s Escape (1912, Kalem). Also, the contemporary stories of A Cowboy Millionaire and Lost and Won are typical for the early Western, even compared to more historical stories of How States were Made (sic!) and Brother Bill. Some films show a temporary mix of modern and historical layers, playing with the moment of transition between the past and future (A Cowboy Millionaire or Lost and Found, sic!), and are still related to a film set in the days (when) States were Made or the days the witches were burnt at the stake (Rose O’Salem-Town). Different notions of Western-realism are at work because generic conventions are not set. Hence, there are no rules for the genre such as ‘a Western has to have horses in it,’ or ‘has to be set west of the Mississippi.'”
Nanna Verhoeff: The West in Early Cinema. After the Beginning. Amsterdam University Press 2006, p. 124

Lost and Won
R: Unknown. D: Hobart Bosworth. P: Selig Polyscope Company. USA 1911
Print: EYE (Desmet collection)
Dutch titles, Engl. subtitles

“In this film about love lost and found, a scene is inserted that consists of non- fiction footage of an oil well in operation.* Radical cuts are made between narrative fiction and nonfictional display. (…) In this film the inserted footage could be taken out without changing the flow of the narrative. But clearly, this would also spoil the film (…) as (real, sensational) spectacle. Clearly, judgments about good or bad editing, successful or failed narratives are impossible to make and are not relevant. There is a more adequate way to assess this film, and others of its kind, if we balance what we see (today) with the indications of projected reception within the films. Such films had several ambitions, which were all met, without one necessarily disrupting the other.”
Nanna Verhoeff: The West in Early Cinema. After the Beginning. Amsterdam University Press 2006, p. 302-303

* there is a far more impressive example for a similar spectacle in Sennett’s The Gusher, Keystone 1913

>>> another film by Ralph Ince, The Mills of the Gods