Theme Month! February 2022: Women of the Silent West

As you have probably already guessed, this month is all about the hard riding, hard shooting, gunslinging ladies of the silent western, from Texas Guinan to… well, we shall soon see!

A common misconception about silent movies is that they regularly feature screaming damsels tied to train tracks. I have written about the topic several times (more than several, sigh) but I think the best way to bust the myth is to showcase how assertive silent movie women really were. You may know about the antics of Mabel Normand, Alice Howell, Marion Davies and other comediennes but I think the bold western ladies are a little more obscure.

My criteria for inclusion is as follows:

The women in these westerns have to shoot, fight and/or ride with great skill.

These skills must be used in a proactive manner. I don’t want any “we both grabbed for the gun” scenes. Those have always been common. I want the kind of action scenes we usually think are reserved for guys. Taking the bull by the horns, confrontations in the saloon, riding hell for leather to save the day, bounty hunting with a shotgun, that kind of thing.

My selections this month impressed me and I hope they will impress you too.


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