|~Review in September 1917 Photoplay~
I am lost in admiration of Sessue Hayakawa! It seems to me that an actor of this type might have
made a tremendous hit in the real drama. Certainly he is the finest film artist I have ever seen. He
has magnificent repose, features that register every shade of expression, and gestures that are
never obnoxiously conspicuous.
It is seldom that a picture story makes a direct appeal to the critic of the drama! The far-fetched in
pictures, is so frequent and so irrepressible that one's criticisms are squelched, and the only thing
to do is to sit and look, or sleep and not look. But "The Jaguar's Claws," by Beatrice De Mille and
William M. McCoy and Roswell Dague, is so interesting, so direct, and so gripping that I
unhesitatingly announce it as the best scenario I have noted in a long time.
It has a dramatic situation that is virile and impressive, and this is it: The Mexican bandit, in a fury
of vindictiveness, takes prisoner both with wife and the sister of the American manager of the oil
fields in Mexico. The young husband, distraught, visits the bandit and begs for chemistry, but El
Jaguar is merciless. He has this to offer: the American can take one of the girls, and leave the other.
That other must remain with El Jaguar. It is a case of being torn "twixt" conflicting emotions. The
wife cries out for rescue from one cell; the little sister demands assistance from the other. What
shall the solution of the problem be? Now, I think it is a pity to give away a fine story just for the
sake of giving it away, and I do not intend to do it. I merely note the situation, which is worthy of
the theater in its entirety, and if you want to know what the young American did, under the
circumstances, you must see the picture.
"The Jaguar's Claws" is full of color and extremely vivid. It has no single dull moment. I should
imagine that if it were necessary to make picture converts - and it is not necessary - this would be
the very film to do the deed effectively. It was so well acted, too. Sessue Hayakawa is worthy of the
attention of all actors. Professional matinees should be given, and students of the stage should
watch Sessue in the capital work he does. I saw him once before, and appreciated him, but in this
latest he could not be excelled. Marjorie Daw was interesting and the cast has been excellently
I rarely feel any enthusiasm for pictures, though I can appreciate their merits, but "The Jaguar's
Claws" pierced my shell.
By Alan Dale
|Directed by: Marshall Neilan
William M. McCoy - story
Roswell Dague - adaptation (uncredited)
Beatrice DeMille - scenario
Leighton Osmun - scenario
Production Company: Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures
Cinematography by: Walter Stradling
Assistant Director: Dudley Blanchard
Length: 5 Reels
Runtime: 50 Minutes
Released: June 11, 1917