100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

New Western Released

The Motion Picture Patents Company is an entity created by Thomas Edison and established film producers on the east coast to file suit to confiscate unlicensed equipment, discontinue product supply to theaters which showed unlicensed films and effectively monopolized distribution and acquisition of all US film exchanges. Unlicensed and independent film production companies carried on business without submitting to the Edison monopoly by using illegal equipment and importing film stock to create their own underground market. The rebel film studios started looking elsewhere to avoid the Film Trust and have moved all the way across the country to California (where the nice weather allows a longer filming season) and opened studios is small southern California towns like Edendale and Hollywood.

There are 7 film production companies in Southern California and in November 1911 Thomas Ince, a Rhode Island native who has worked for Biograph, arrived and proceeded to revolutionize the film industry. He was the first to use a “shooting script” the blueprint to map out the entire movie-making process. He created the first modern movie studio in the Santa Monica mountains at Bison Ranch called Inceville. The Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show provided cowboys, horses, oxen, Indians, wagons, everything needed to make the greatest Westerns ever for $25,000 per week. Ince didn’t take total control as director but managed teams of film-makers on several projects with who he shared credit whether he actually directed or not.

Francis X Feeney was born in Portland, Maine in 1881. After serving in the Spanish-American War he drifted into the budding film industry in New York. He adopted the surname “Ford” from the automobile. He started working in San Antonio, Texas for Star Film Company. From there Francis Ford began his Hollywood career working for Thomas Ince at Ince’s Bison studio, directing and appearing in westerns. He recently appeared in CUSTER’S LAST FIGHT as Custer.


On November 29, 1912 THE INVADERS was released, produced by Thomas Ince, directed by Ince and Ford and starring Francis Ford. The US Army and the Indians sign a peace treaty. However, a group of surveyors trespass on the Indians’ land and violate the treaty. The army refuses to listen to the Indians’ complaints, and the surveyors are killed by the Indians. A vicious Indian war ensues, culminating in an Indian attack on an army fort.

Francis Ford is the seated officer with the mustache

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