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Heavy-lidded Jack LaRue wants some day to play Armand to somebody's Camille. To date his fame rests upon his performance of the low, sinister gangster that George Raft refused to play in The Story of Temple Drake. Born of Italo-English parents in New York, he was once a piano-tuner, then a stage actor. In Diamond Lil he was Mae West's lover. When he went to Hollywood two years ago his work as a young priest in A Farewell to Arms earned him a Paramount contract. Adept at delineating despicable fellows, Jack LaRue appears next in Good Dame, with Sylvia. Sidney and Fredric March.
Massacre (First National) is an Indian picture but not of the tomahawk & wampum variety. Adapted from a novel by Robert Gessner, it adds up into an indignant crusade against the white man's treatment of the red. Joe Thunder Horse (Richard Barthelmess) is a brash young college man who has been away from his tribe's reservation for years. Performing in a rodeo in Chicago, he learns his father is dying. Joe returns to find the reservation in the grasp of as rascally a Federal agent (Dudley Digges) as ever split fees and doctored his books. Atavistically, Joe falls in love with a beauteous Indian (Ann Dvorak). He thrashes a dope-riddled doctor whose negligence caused his father's death. When a burly, grafting undertaker (Sidney Toler) rapes Joe's 15-year-old sister, Joe pursues him in an automobile, lassos him, drags him by a rope until he is all but dead. Disgusted by the unctuousness of a Christian missionary, Joe induces his family and friends to bury his father with old pagan rites. Such primitive behavior lands Joe in jail from which he escapes and makes his way to Washington.
There a Senate committee hears his story but adjourns when the undertaker dies and Joe is indicted for murder. Back on the reservation it takes an Indian uprising and some bold work by Joe's friends' to insure his fair trial and acquittal. In the end it is suggested that the Great White Father in Washington may bring the Indians better times. Looking as much like a young Sioux as any 38-year-old white man may. Barthelmess gives a sincere, straight-faced performance.