Charles Ogle with Nez Perce men, including Joe Kentuck and John Moses (?), Idaho, 1919


The film, Told in the Hills, was the first Hollywood feature film made in Idaho and one of the few films to realistically depict the Nez Perce Indians. The film was based on a novel published in 1891 by Marah Ellis Ryan which is about settlers in the mountains of Idaho and Montana and their encounters with the Nez Perce Indians. The Famous Players-Lasky Corporation purchased the rights in March 1919 and began filming in Idaho during the summer of 1919 in the Lapwai area (mostly south of Lapwai in Lawyers Canyon) and in Kooskia area along the Selway and Clearwater Rivers. The film was released in September, 1919. The filmmakers wanted to use Native Americans rather than Hollywood extras which was unusual for the time. They hired hundreds of Nez Perce Indians who wore their traditional clothing. The filmmakers were sympathetic to the Indians and tried to accurately depict the Nez Perce way of life. The gathering of Nez Perce for the making of the film was the first time they were allowed to publicly gather together since the Nez Perce War in 1877. Among the participants were survivors of the 1877 war and flight. Photograph made during the filming of the movie Told in the Hills made in the area of Lapwai and Kooskia, Idaho in 1919. PH Coll 1609.3

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