English intertitles WriterMary OHara, William C. deMille Release dateDecember 27, 1925 (1925-12-27) CastRod La Rocque, Lillian Rich Similar moviesLady Windermeres Fan (1925), Tumbleweeds (1925), Ben-Hur (1925), Rubber Tires (1927), All Mine to Give (1957)
Braveheart is a 1925 silent film western directed by Alan Hale, Sr. and starring Rod La Rocque. The story focuses on members of a tribe of Indians who are being intimidated by the owners of a canning company seeking to violate the treaty protecting the tribe's fishing grounds.
A project by Cecil B. DeMille, initially it is named "Strongheart" after a play written by his brother William C. deMille circa 1904 and produced on Broadway in 1905 as his first major success. A film had been developed in 1914 from it. However, as the success of the play continued, a remake of the film was undertaken. Nipo T. Strongheart, early in his work in Hollywood with Native American topics, was asked to rewrite the movie and he included elements referring to the Yakima Nation and had the hero succeed in preserving Indian fishing rights, a topic of some recent interest. The original movie was 30 min long. and the revised movie was 71 min. However as the project neared completion another "Strongheart" took to film – a canine star. Subsequently the DeMille film was retitled and released as Braveheart. Nipo T. Strongheart played a role in the film playing a Medicine Man and collaborating on the screenplay. A news story covering the work is echoed a couple places – New York, and California. Sometimes advertising for performance-lectures of Nipo Strongheart from then on would have him in Indian costume as well as a scene from the movie where he was dressed in normal attire.
Nipo Strongheart was able to include Indians not dressed up in Indian costumes and succeeding in redressing wrongs done to them – however much the lead role was still a white man in Indian costume.
One scholar said:
The court sequence is heavily and multiply textualized… conveying legal arguments and judgements that refer to treaties.… the judge's decision parses the meaning of the treaty text itself: "We have examined the Federal treaty with the Indians and find that it gives them the right to fish where and when they please, without limitation by State tax or private ownership."
A restoration of Braveheart was done by the "Washington Film Preservation Project" and the film shown at a Yakama Nation Native American Film Festival in 2006 and 2007.