William S. Hart is trying to help a nice young woman from the east claim her inheritance: a gambling parlor and dance hall, nudge nudge, wink wink. Fights and poker tournaments ensue, of course.Continue reading “Mr. Silent Haskins (1915) A Silent Film Review”
William S. Hart is a Good Bad Man again, this time fighting bandits in 1880s Arizona. A typical tale for him but stylish cinematography and a dark tone lift this picture considerably. It was lost for decades but has recently been reconstructed.Continue reading “The Gun Fighter (1917) A Silent Film Review”
William S. Hart gets dark (well, darker than usual) in this western revenge yarn. He is supported by Anna Q. Nilsson, whose sensitive performance does much to enhance the picture.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Toll Gate (1920)”
A new preacher arrives at the sinningest town West of the Pecos. William S. Hart is a gunfighter with a homicidal streak determined to prevent law and religion from taking hold in Hell’s Hinges. There is shooting. So much shooting.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Hell’s Hinges (1916)”
This is possibly one of the most beautiful films William S. Hart made and so it is appropriate that it is also the first Hart film available in HD. The cinematography and gorgeous tints are absolutely breathtaking.
William S. Hart remakes one of his earlier short films as a feature and relocates it to the Canadian wilderness. You’re not going to believe this but he plays a rough and brutal man who finds his heart thanks to a good woman.
We’re back with another silent era taste test! I’m cooking my way through Photoplay Magazine’s 1929 cookbook of the stars but today, we’re taking a little ice cream detour to 1917.
William S. Hart plays an outlaw who, gosh darn it, ends up being hired as the marshal of a small, crime-infested town. Will he find redemption? Oh, come on. Do cops like donuts? Of course he will but getting there is all the fun.
Cowboys and vamps? Guys, I think we have hit peak 1915! William S. Hart plays a saloon proprietor who shoots a no-good skunk of a thief. But guess who has a pretty sister? Go on, guess!
William S. Hart is a Santa Fe Trail guide whose brother is murdered by a riverboat gambler. And guess who has joined the wagon train Hart is directing to Santa Fe? Less action and more drama in this Hart vehicle with veteran baddie Robert McKim providing the mustache twirls.
William S. Hart plays a native Mesoamerican who falls for an Aztec princess. This goes over about as well as you can imagine and our hero soon finds himself marked for sacrifice. A change of pace (obviously) for western star Hart.
William S. Hart is in his comfort zone as an actor and director when he plays a rough, tough outlaw who takes the job of marshal on a lark and ends up falling for the town beauty (Margery Wilson, actress and director). Resident vamp Louise Glaum is on hand as the villainess and a good time is had by all.
Continue reading “The Return of Draw Egan (1916) A Silent Film Review”
Howdy, pardners. You may have known me once as Fritzi Kramer but on this post, folks call me Creosote Whipple. Why is that? Because I used the William S. Hart name generator!
I like to get silly sometimes with quizzes and other fun stuff. It has been forever since I’ve done anything like this so here goes!
Can a 100+ year old action movie be exciting for modern viewers? The Bargain shows that the correct answer is an enthusiastic yes. Fast-moving and funny, this western is about a bandit who forms a strange alliance with the sheriff charged with arresting him. The climax is one of the best chase scenes (oh, all right, the best) of the 1910s. This is also western legend William S. Hart’s very first feature film and it’s also one of his lightest. Strongly recommended.
William S. Hart is a wanted man. He’s wanted by the law and he is especially wanted by Mercedes (Enid Markey), a local beauty with a giant crush on our antihero. This early Hart short zips along at a fierce pace until its bloody conclusion.
Welcome back! I am cooking my way through the 1929 Photoplay cookbook (recipes of the stars!) and you are invited to tag along. (I have listed all the recipes I have tested on this dedicated page. Check back often.) Today, we will be testing a recipe from one of the biggest players in early features of the wild west.
William S. Hart is the proprietor of a successful gambling house. Some clown gets the brilliant idea of robbing him at gunpoint. This goes over about as well as you might expect. The problem? The dead man’s innocent and penniless sister is on her way to town. Hart has to do a whole heap of lying to keep her from finding out about her brother’s disgrace.
William S. Hart’s first feature film is also a real corker. He plays a bandit who decides to trade it all in for an honest life but who soon realizes that going straight is a lot harder than it looks. After some misadventures, he finds himself in a strange alliance with the local sheriff. Filled with genuinely exciting actions scenes, ironic humor and a good dose of dust, this movie is the one that made Hart a star. It’s easy to see why.
Continue reading “The Bargain (1914) A Silent Film Review”
December of 2014 is a significant month for fans of western star William S. Hart. His first feature was released a century ago this month and he was born one hundred and fifty years ago. I couldn’t let this milestone month pass without paying tribute to everyone’s favorite Good Bad Man of the west.
What’s more, I am going to be featuring spoofs of Hart’s gritty west that star some of the best comedians of the silent era! Please enjoy. Oh, and if you have a little something special planned for Hart this month, let me know and I will link to you.
Big V Riot Squad is joining me in the Hart celebration.
To whet your appetite, here are my past reviews of Hart films. Also, I get a chance to be punny. I offer no apologies.
Dark Hart: The Toll Gate (1920) has Hart at his most menacing.
Burning Hart: Hell’s Hinges (1916) is perfectly apocalyptic.
I left my Hart in San Francisco: The Cradle of Courage (1920), in which Bill trades his Stetson for a copper’s cap.
Broken Hart: Bad Buck of Santa Ynez (1915) is a rare tragedy from our usually-victorious hero.
Review #1: New Hart
The Bargain (1914) set the stage for all subsequent Hart films. It’s also a darn good piece of entertainment that holds up remarkably well.
Review #2: Lying Hart
Keno Bates, Liar (1915) was Hart’s last short film and provides an unexpected bit of vamping, courtesy of Louise Glaum.
Review #3: Lloyd Goes West
Two-Gun Gussie (1918) is Harold Lloyd’s fun little short dealing with the perils of a jazz pianist in the oldish west.
Review #4: Arbuckle-Keaton-St. John Go West
Out West (1918) is a dark, morbid and violent send-up of William S. Hart’s grown-up westerns.
One of William S. Hart’s earliest surviving films, this western two-reeler tells the tale of a bad guy who narrowly escapes being guest of honor at a necktie party and learns to be not quite so bad when he meets a kid in trouble. You know, a typical William S. Hart Thursday. An early example of the gritty-yet-emotional western that would become Hart’s stock-in-trade. Hart also directed.
Buster Keaton delivers a slice of demented wackiness in this snow-bound comedy. Keaton is a lusty would-be bandit with a large dose of William S. Hart mannerisms. It’s definitely one of his darker short films and is interesting in its own right but, as usual, the story behind the scenes is just as fascinating.
William S. Hart is back in the saddle with one of his most villainous roles. He plays a bandit betrayed by his own lieutenant and out for revenge. We have holdups, posses and plenty of brooding between the action scenes. In short, a Hart film.
My third video review! William S. Hart’s apocalyptic western is considered a classic of the genre. It features a suspenseful build-up, a fiery climax and an 18-year old John Gilbert in a supporting role. I recommend checking it out even if you are not an enormous fan of westerns. I think you will be surprised at its grit and raw power.
William S. Hart hangs up his cowboy hat in this cops-and-robbers tale of post-War San Francisco. Hart is a veteran and ex-crook who comes back from his doughboy stint a changed man. The robber is now a cop and he is forced to investigate his old friends and his own family. Good enough but no classic. Worth it for vintage footage of San Francisco.
If it were a dessert it would be:
Rocky Road Ice Cream. You got your cool stuff, your dark stuff and your fun stuff. An old hat but welcome all the same.
Read my full-length review.
I enjoyed True Grit as a book and I loved the 2010 adaptation. The ‘teens were a golden time for the western film and so I decided to work with the year 1917 in mind.
This is how the (movie) west was won!
William S. Hart was one of the most popular western stars of the silent era. Though his films have a low loss rate, relatively few of them are available on home media. This book is valuable because it is the closest we may ever get to some of Hart’s more obscure titles. It also happens to be the gold standard in the “complete films of” book genre.
William S. Hart trades his Stetson for a blue policeman’s hat in this gangland drama. Hart is a safecracker-turned-cop who finds himself at odds with his larcenous family and targeted by a former business partner. But, as we all know, Hart is not someone to be trifled with.
Continue reading “The Cradle of Courage (1920) A Silent Film Review”
She’s the saintly sister of a debauched minister. He’s a somewhat homicidal gunslinger determined to run the church right out of town. Is that romance in the air? Marvelously apocalyptic western from everyone’s favorite Good Bad Man, William S. Hart.