The Primal Lure (1916)

Trimmed re-release lobby card for THE PRIMAL LURE (1916) with Margery Wilson, William S. Hart and Robert McKim

Trimmed re-release lobby card with Margery Wilson, William S. Hart and Robert McKim

THE PRIMAL LURE (Triangle-Ince), May 21 - A rather poor vehicle for a good actor, perhaps the poorest in which he has appeared.
-- Moving Picture World, June 3, 1916, p 1714

Triangle Film Corporation

THE PRIMAL LURE (Ince - Five Parts - May 21st). - The cast: Angus McConnell (William S. Hart); Lola LeMoyne (Margery Wilson); Richard Sylvester (Robert McKim, Pierre Vernaisse (Jerome Strom).
Angus McConnell is factor of the outpost of the Hudson Bay Company which is dignified by the name of Fort Lu Cerne. The summer has been disastrous for the trappers, and they are deeply in the company's debt for provision. Angus keeps account of what they owe in a little book, and one night this precious book disappears. Angus vows all manner of vengeance on the culprit who has taken it. He keeps close watch on the office, and at last he beholds Lois Le Moyne, belle of the outpost, rummaging about his desk.

Unknown to him, she has come to make him a gift of a beautiful pair of moccasins, made with her own fair hands, so he concludes she is the thief, and has her thrown into the goal. Then Richard Sylvester, the company inspector, comes to Fort Lu Cerne on the rounds. He sees Lois, falls in love with her, and has her released. On his promise that he will have Angus dismissed as factor and himself appointed, she agrees to wed him. This he accomplishes, and Angus takes to the trail alone. But before the wedding can take place an epidemic of sickness breaks out, and in terror the cowardly Sylvester flees with his bodyguard.

Angus, who has heard that the Blackfeet Indians are about to descend on the outpost to demand a white person to be sacrificed as an offering to the god who has brought down the plague, happily returns at this time and resumes the reins of authority. The Indian attack takes place, and after a thrilling fight, in which the whites are greatly outnumbered, Angus goes forth to offer himself as the victim. He is miraculously saved, however, and returns to the fort. But he finds that all the garrison have gone save Lois; and with these two great enemies along in a terrible situation there comes about a great finish to a remarkable film.
-- Moving Picture World, June 3, 1916, p. 2110

Triangle Program at the Rialto
W. S. Hart was the feature star at the Rialto and was seen in an Indian picture, "The Primal Lure." Mr. Hart plays a taciturn Scot in charge of a lonely Hudson Bay trading post. A little French girl falls in love with him, and a well sustained romance is the result. The star gives his customary excellent performance and is cleverly supported by Margery Wilson, as the French girl.
-- Moving Picture World, May 20, 1916, p. 1345

Triangle Program
"The Primal Lure"
"The Primal Lure" puts William S. Hart in the limelight as a dime novel her, but the story is so painfully lacking in anything that appeals to minds not primitive that it drags its dreary way without other relief than occasional flashes of fine acting by Margery Wilson as Louis Le Moyne. Hart, for all his many strength and expressive face, fails to stir interest. He needs a better opportunity than such stories offer.
-- Moving Picture World, May 20, 1916, p. 1350

"The Primal Lure"
William S. Hart in Romance of the Northwest. Reviewed by Thomas C. Kennedy
"THE PRIMAL LURE," selected to be the feature on the program at the Rialto during the week of May 7, is a melodrama laid in the Northwest and dealing with a romance centering about the rugged factor, or manager of the post, a spirited Canadian girl and a smooth villain whose cowardice defeats his ambition to marry the girl for whose favor he has maliciously discredited the factor. Added to this and serving the purposes of melodramatic self-sacrifice, or the depiction of a willingness to suffer painful death on the part of the factor, there is an Indian incursion following their unheeded demand for the life of a white, as an offering to the Great Spirit because a plague has been visited upon them.

William S. Hart makes his latest screen appearance as Angus McConnell, the factor. Mr. Hart makes McConnell a virile, strong charactered woodsman, with a determination that brooks no interference. His is a praiseworthy character sketch, and, like the acting of Margery Wilson, is deserving of a story of more depth than this melodrama by Vingie E. Roe and J. G. Hawks. "The Primal Lure" provides good entertainment from the beginning, but this is attributable to some striking outdoor scenes and the acting.

The story tells of the factor's resolve to detect the person who has stolen his account book Louis Le Moyne, the daughter of an old trapper, has prepared a surprise for McConnell, for whom she has great admiration. One can only sympathize with her, therefore when the factor accuses her of the theft when she slips into his office to place the embroidered mocasins (sic) in his desk. She bitterly resents this and is too indignant to even plead with him. McConnell puts her in the lock-up and tells her she will remain there until she returns the book.

A representative of the Hudson's Bay Company visits the post and because he is struck by the girl's beauty takes matters into his own hands and releases Lois. Then he has the factor discharged. McConnell does not leave, however, until he has administered a good beating to the cowardly Sylvester. To protect the trappers the former manager returns when the Indians threaten the post and his bravery, coupled with deliberateness, wins the girl's consent to marry him.

Margary Wilson is an exceedingly good Lois. She gives the part much natural spirit and appeal. Robert McKim is the cowardly Richard Sylvester and Jerome Storm is happily cast as Pierre Vernaisse. The production has true atmosphere and any number of beautiful scenes.

-- Motography, May 20, 1916, p. 1169-1170.

Triangles in the Making
Photography during the height of a snow storm in the Santa Clara mountains is a feat, which was accomplished during the production of "The Primal Lure," Ince's Triangle-Kay Bee feature, in which William S. Hart is starred.
-- Motography, June 17, 1916, p. 1364

(Kay Bee - Triangle - 5 Reels)
LAID in the Canadian Northwest, with its background of the wild, this gives William S. Hart another opportunity to play one of his "strong men" parts. As usual Mr. hart is made the victim of Fate - this time he arrests the girl unjustly because he thinks she is a thief, and is engineered out of his job as manager of the Hudson's Bay Company by a cowardly inspector who is in love with the girl. Mr. Hart gives his usual excellent and appealing impersonation.


The story was picturized by J. G. Hawks from the tale by Vingie E. Roe, and while it has by no means so dramatic a theme as recent Hart pictures have had, it is a serviceable vehicle. The exhibitor will find the picture, as a whole, entirely salable.
Those who are fond of seeing Mr. Hart take command of a desperate situation, involving the lives of a number of people, will not be disappointed in "The Primal Lure." After he has been removed from his position as manager, he returns to the trading post, just in time to organize a defense against an attack by Indians. The latter are about to take the post, when Hart offers himself as a sacrifice. He is bound to a tree and a fire built at his feet. A priest happens along, and persuades the Indians that a storm, which comes up, is a sign that the Great Spirit is frowning upon the sacrifice by extinguishing the flames. Hart is released, and finally wins the girl, who forgives him after showing him that she was not the thief.

The battle and sacrifice scenes are realistically done, and gain in effect by their employment of genuine redskins. The set representing the trading post is extensive, and gives correct atmosphere.

Margery Wilson, seen as the girl, renders her part in a pleasing manner, while Robert McKim makes a good villain. Jerome Storm is another of the principals.
-- Motion Picture News, May 20, 1916, p. 3093 - 3094

with William S. Hart, Margery Wilson and Robert McKim. Directed by William S. Hart. Kay-Bee/Ince.

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Public Domain Mark
This work (The Primal Lure (1916), by Paramount), identified by Bruce Calvert, is free of known copyright restrictions.



Last Modified April 21, 2019