Law of Nature (1917)

Genres - Western  |  
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The third film to be released by the African-American owned Lincoln Motion Picture Company, the two-reel The Law of Nature told a typical Western story of a rancher's wife (Albertine Pickens) who longs for her former Big City lifestyle. She pesters her husband (Noble Johnson) into leaving the ranch, but city life takes its toll on the marriage, which ends in divorce. The wife, now down and out on Skid Row, realizes what she has lost and repentantly returns to home and hearth. Noble Johnson left Lincoln, the company he had founded, after this film to successfully pursue a career as a character actor in mainstream Hollywood fare. Light skinned, Johnson was often cast as Native Americans, Arabs, South Seas Islanders, etc., although he did play Uncle Tom in the Duncan Sisters flop Topsy and Eva (1927). Johnson is perhaps best remembered for playing the native chieftain in King Kong (1933). The only African-American actor of his generation allowed to be versatile, Johnson enjoyed a long screen career that lasted until his retirement in 1950.