Dawn of Freedom (1916)

  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

This drama begins in the days after the United States has won its freedom. General Washington gives Captain Richard Cartwright (Charles Richman) a large tract of land in Pennsylvania. He goes to look it over, leaving behind his fiancée Elizabeth (Arline Pretty). Indians attack him, and he kills one before Father Ambrose puts a halt to the battle. The chief wants Cartwright's life in return for the death of one of his people, and Ambrose -- who spent time among the Hindus -- comes up with an idea. He uses a certain spell he learned to put Cartwright into suspended animation and make the chief believe he has died. That night, however, when Ambrose goes to dig up Cartwright, the Indians realize that they have been fooled and kill him. Years and generations pass, and it is now 1916 (when the film was shot). The land, willed half to Cartwright's brother and half to Elizabeth, has become Pennsylvania's largest coal mine. But the Cartwright who runs it is cheating Elizabeth's descendants and mistreating the workers, who are violently protesting. They plant several bombs and one blows up the land where Cartwright's body was buried. Thus awakened from suspended animation, he's awe-filled at the changes the country has made in the past 130 years; he's also horrified at the dirty deeds of his brother's kin. Using the ideals that made the Revolution possible, Cartwright settles the strikers and, although he loses his life in a riot, the present Cartwright's son (James Morrison) is inspired by his actions.