Last month we did a quick exploration of the American South in silent movies, and now we go west! This February we'll be showing silent westerns, for the first time at Odie Cinema in Second Life.
Since there are so many preserved, and in quite good condition, I've decided to narrow down this vastly popular theme to westerns starring William S. Hart who was the western movie star of the 1910s and '20s.
3rd February 2017
The Return of Draw Egan (1916)
Directed by William S. Hart, who also plays the leading role, the movie follows a familiar storyline: an outlaw experiences personal transformation through the love of a woman, and becomes an upstanding, law abiding citizen. With this and other early westerns, Hart established many of the patterns that will remain key elements of western as a genre. The main female role is played by Margery Wilson.
10th February 2017
Hell's Hinges (1916)
Alcoholism, gunfights, seduction... And again, a fine woman (played by Clara Williams) who brings the local thug back on the straight and narrow. This movie is nowadays considered one of the best silent westerns.
17th February 2017
Wagon Tracks (1919)
At the time of the release, it was described as the Hollywood's greatest desert epic and the press praised it for beautiful photography and excellent production. Starring Hart and Jane Novak, the movie is about a mountain man guiding a group of travelers across the West. Sure enough, there are also murders to be solved and conflicts with the Indians...
24th February 2017
Tumbleweeds was William S. Hart's last movie. At the time, reviewers thought of it as just good entertainment, but the movie seems to have aged well: contemporary critics consider it one of Hart's finest works, also unique in the way he portrayed Native Americans and African Americans. The movie is about the 1893 Cherokee Strip land rush. Co-starring with Hart is Barbara Bedford.
All screenings begin at 1 pm SLT, and to reach Odie Cinema, please follow this SLurl. Hope to have you with us this month!