When Broadway Was a Trail (1914)

Genres - Drama  |  
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Produced by World Films, the 5-reel When Broadway Was a Trail opens with a shot of the cast standing on a skyscraper in present-day New York then flashes back to colonial times, when "New Amsterdam" was under the rule of the Dutch. O.A.C. Lund, who also directed, plays Henry Minuit, the son of colonial governor Peter Minuit (Edward Roseman). In defiance of his father's wishes, Henry leaves hearth and home to resettle in Danvers, Massachusetts, a community that was later and more infamously known as Salem. Here he falls in love with Priscilla Elliot (Barbara Tennant), a girl who has been accused of witchcraft. Numerous perils, including an Indian attack, face the hero and heroine before the inevitable happy ending. Playing fast and loose with historical chronology (and accuracy), When Broadway Was a Trail was an entertaining precursor to such later "Old New York" films as Knickerbocker Holiday and Where Do We Go From Here?

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Keywords

colonialism, complications, couple, homeland, love, modernity, past, safety, skyscraper, time, traveling, witchcraft