Squaw Man, The (1931): DeMille’s Third Version, Starring Warner Baxter

The third version of the same play that he had filmed, and the first in sound, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Squaw Man stars Warner Baxter, a recent Best Actor Oscar winner (“In Old Arizona”).

Baxter plays British army officer Captain James Wingate, disgraced after being blamed for embezzlement of the regiment’s charitable fund by his cousin Henry (Paul Cavanagh).

Heading to the Wild West, he takes over a Montana ranch, marries the beautiful Indian squaw Naturich (Lupe Velez) and the couple has a son, Hal (Dickie Moore). Years later, Henry is killed in a horse riding accident.

Informed of James’s location, Sir John Applegate Kerhill  arrives with Lady Diana (Eleanor Boardman), the secret love of James, who nonetheless remains loyal to his wife.  Sir John convinces James to let him take Hal back to England in order to get better education.

Tragedy strikes when, having her son taken away against her wishes, the grieving Naturich shoots herself while holding a toy wooden horse she had made for her boy on his birthday.