The Luck of Roaring Camp (1910)

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Given the tightening of copyright laws by 1910, it is safe to assume that Edison doled out a substantial sum to Bret Harte for permission to film his short story The Luck of Roaring Camp. With only 12 minutes of screen time at its disposal, the film had no choice but to adhere faithfully to the Harte original. Set during the California Gold Rush, the film details the adventures of a young orphan boy as he teams up with a shady gambler and a shadier saloon gal. Unfortunately, the anonymous director chose to film this "outdoors" picture within the walls of the Edison studio, utilizing the most obvious of phony backdrops. Luck of Roaring Camp would be refilmed several times throughout the silent and early sound era.