The historic silent film "The Daughter of the Dawn" makes its Southwest Oklahoma debut Thursday in the Cameron University Theater, 2800 W. Gore, at 7 p.m. Come early. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and is first come get seated.
This film is important to Southwest Oklahoma history, featuring an all Comanche and Kiowa cast and was filmed in the local Wichita Mountains during the summer of 1920.
Long thought lost for almost 85 years, "The Daughter of the Dawn" disappeared after only a few showings and was never released. The original film was discovered in2003 and brought to the attention of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
"The discovery of the original silver nitrate film some several years ago was momentous in terms of both Oklahoma and cinematic history," says Bob Blackburn, Executive Director, OHS. Thanks to grants from the McMahon Foundation and the Lawton Community Foundation, the Oklahoma Historical Society was able to purchase the film in 2006. Funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation enabled us to restore the film, including transferring the movie to 35mm film, DVD and other media formats. It is with great pride that we can now share this lost treasure with the public."
OHS commissioned David Yeagley, Comanche, to compos the musical score which was then recorded by the Oklahoma City University Orchestra.
Blackburn, Yeagley and elders from the Comanche Nation and the Kiowa Nation will be in attendance to provide commentary on the film.
Esther LeBarre, Comanche, plays the lead character, Daughter of Dawn, the daughter of Hunting Horse, Chief of the Kiowa. She is courted by White Eagle, played by White Parker, and Black Wolf, played by Jack Sankadota. Dawn loves White, but the Chief says that Wolf has many ponies so he must consider both as potential husbands for his daughter. To this love triangle is added Red Wing, played by Wanada Parker, who is in love with Wolf. Both White Parker and Wanada Parker were children of Quanah Parker.
The story also includes two buffalo hunt scenes, a battle scene, village scenes, dances, deceit, courage, hand-to-hand combat, love scenes, and a happy ending.
Back to the 1920s
Those who savor the 1920s can view automobiles of that period at a home restored to that time.
The Historic Mattie Beal Home is hosting the Model T Ford Club of Tulsa. There will be more than a dozen Model T automobiles on display. The oldest is from 1914 and the most recent was manufactured in 1926.
To view these antique vehicles, come to the Mattie Beal Home, 5th and Summit in Lawton, Saturday, between noon and 3 p.m. Visitors can also tour the Historic Mattie Beal Home, once known as the finest home in Lawton, which has been returned to the 1923 look.