29 December 1913

Cecil B. DeMille starts filming Hollywood’s first feature film, The Squaw Man.

“The Squaw Man” is historically significant as Hollywood’s first feature film. It was directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel and produced by Jesse Lasky. The film was released in 1914 and marked the beginning of Hollywood’s dominance in the American film industry.

“The Squaw Man” is a silent Western film based on a popular stage play of the same name written by Edwin Milton Royle. The story revolves around a British aristocrat, Captain James Wynnegate, who is accused of a crime he did not commit. To avoid scandal, he escapes to the American West, where he encounters the daughter of a Native American chief, Nat-u-ritch. The two fall in love, and the film explores themes of cultural clash and social prejudices.

One of the noteworthy aspects of “The Squaw Man” is that it was not only Hollywood’s first feature film but also the first feature film shot entirely in California. Prior to this, many American films were produced on the East Coast. The decision to film in California was influenced by the region’s diverse landscapes and favorable weather conditions, which allowed for year-round filming.

The success of “The Squaw Man” played a crucial role in establishing Hollywood as the center of the American film industry. Following this film, Hollywood continued to grow, attracting more filmmakers, studios, and talent. Cecil B. DeMille went on to become one of the most successful and influential directors in Hollywood history, contributing significantly to the development of the film industry.