Ammunition Smuggling on the Mexican Border (1914)
This can be called an early attempt at making a “docudrama,” and it may be one of the most authentic of those ever filmed, because many of the actors are re-creating their own actions on the screen. The movie depicts the failed attempt of a Texas posse to apprehend smugglers taking arms across the border for the Mexican Revolution, and the subsequent captivity of two of the members of said posse, the death of one of the hostages and the eventual liberation of the other and the capture of the criminals. The movie was produced by that surviving posse member, former sheriff Eugene T. Buck, and of course is told entirely from his point of view, with no attempt at a balanced or fair perspective on the revolutionaries he fought against. Those revolutionaries were anarchists and comrades of Emiliano Zapata, and got the support of American radicals like Emma Goldman after their capture, while Buck’s testimony was called into serious question on the stand. The film was shot only weeks after that testimony. As interesting as this history makes the movie, I found the unimaginative cinematography (almost every shot is a static crowd shot, with individual characters hard to distinguish) and the poor quality of the print made it hard to maintain an interest.
Director: Eugene T. Buck
Cast: Eugene T. Buck
Run Time: 41 Min
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