The Trail to Yesterday

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The Trail to Yesterday
Newspaper advertisement
Directed byEdwin Carewe
Produced byMetro Pictures
Written byJune Mathis (scenario)
Based onThe Trail to Yesterday
by Charles Alden Seltzer
StarringBert Lytell
Anna Q. Nilsson
CinematographyRobert Kurrle
Distributed byMetro Pictures
Release date
May 6, 1918
Running time
6 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The Trail to Yesterday is a 1918 American silent western film directed by Edwin Carewe and starring Bert Lytell and Anna Q. Nilsson. It was produced by and distributed by Metro Pictures. It is based on a novel, The Trail to Yesterday (1913), by Charles Alden Seltzer.[1] A nitrate fragment of the print is held by EYE Institut/Filmmuseum, Netherlands.[2]


As described in a film magazine,[3] David Langford (Maupain) kills his partner and accuses the son of the murder. A fugitive from justice, Ned Keegles (Lytell) goes out west, determined on revenge. When he meets Sheila Langford (Nilsson), he forces her to marry him, and believes his revenge is complete. When he hears that Langford is Sheila's stepfather, he is sorry. He tells Sheila so and begs for her forgiveness, but his enemies have darkened his character and she is slow to forgive. The attempted murder of Ned's best friend forces him to talk. Sheila comes to understand the true state of affairs and becomes satisfied with her marriage and the forced ceremony.



Some filming took place at Arivaca, Arizona.[4]


Like many American films of the time, The Trail to Yesterday was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors required cuts, in Reel 3, of Dakota shooting Blanco and his falling and, in Reel 5, of Duncan shooting an old man at the door.[5]


  1. ^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films: The Trail to Yesterday
  2. ^ The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: The Trail to Yesterday
  3. ^ "Reviews: The Trail to Yesterday". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 6 (21): 26. May 18, 1918.
  4. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: The Trail to Yesterday at
  5. ^ "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. 6 (22): 30. May 25, 1918.

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