The Chechahcos is a 1924 American silent adventure drama film about the gold rush days in the Klondike. Chechahco, more commonly spelled cheechako, is a Chinook Jargon word for "newcomer", and the film focuses on a group of would-be prospectors sailing for Alaska. The film was directed by Lewis H. Moomaw and produced by Austin E. Lathrop, who himself was once a prospector. The film was distributed by Associated Exhibitors.
A ship headed towards the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s catches on fire and all onboard must abandon ship. Passenger Margaret Stanlaw (Eva Gordon) loses her young daughter Ruth (Baby Margie) in the ensuing panic, and is informed by shady gambler Richard Steele (Alexis B. Luce) that she did not survive. In actuality, Ruth is saved by prospective prospectors “Horseshoe” Riley and Bob Dexter (William Dills and Albert Van Altwerp). This new makeshift family arrives in Anchorage and almost immediately strikes gold. 15 years later Ruth is now a young adult (Gladys Johnson), who is having an inexplicable attraction to Dexter, the man who helped raise her and is essentially her father. When Margaret and Richard come into town to run the local saloon, secrets will be revealed, pasts will be confronted, and the Alaskan terrain will be filmed for the first time.
- William Dills as 'Horseshoe' Riley
- Albert Van Antwerp as Engineer Bob Dexter
- Eva Gordon as Mrs. Margaret Stanlaw (credited as Miss Eva Gordon)
- Baby Margie as Baby Ruth Stanlaw
- Alexis B. Luce as Gambler Richard Steele
- Gladys Johnson as Ruth Stanlaw (credited as Gladys Johnston)
- Guerney Hays as Pierre - Steele's Henchman (uncredited)
- H. Mills as Engineer (uncredited)
- Howard Webster as Professor Stanlaw (uncredited)
A print of the film was maintained in the University of Alaska Fairbanks film archive. In 2003, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
- Progressive Silent Film List: The Chechahcos at silentera.com
- "Librarian of Congress Adds 25 Films to National Film Registry". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Chechahcos.|
- The Chechahcos at IMDb
- Synopsis at AllMovie
- "The Chechahcos" essay by Chris Beheim on the National Film Registry website.
- "The Chechahcos" essay by Daniel Eagan in America's Film Legacy: The Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry, A&C Black, pages 91-92, 2010 ISBN 0826429777
- National Film Preservation Foundation (with film clip)
- The Chechahcos with stills at alaskarails.org
- Debra McKinney (May 1, 2015), "The Cheechakos Project," at anchoragepress.com (requires subscription)