The Heart of Wetona (1919)

Genres - Drama  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Norma Talmadge's penchant for on-screen suffering gets a fair workout here. She plays Wetona, a half-white, half-Indian girl, who gave herself to a man (Gladden James) who promised marriage, then never came through. All this comes out when Her Indian chief father, Quannah (Fred Huntley) chooses her as the vestial virgin for a sacred rite. Wetona divulges that she is no virgin, vestial or otherwise, and the furious Quannah insists on finding the guilty man so he can be killed. Wetona seeks out the agent of the reservation, John Hardin (Thomas Meighan), to ask if he will help save her lover's life. Quannah breaks in on them and believes Hardin is the one who wronged his daughter. Hardin (who has always loved Wetona anyway) agrees to marry the girl to save the situation. Wetona eventually realizes that her lover was really a wicked snake. With Hardin's love and her father's forgiveness, she once again finds happiness. This film was originally a Belasco stage play starring (Lenore Ulrich). It was Talmadge's second film in a row in which she played a part-ethnic character. In her previous picture, The Forbidden City, she was half-Chinese.