William S. Hart began as a highly acclaimed Shakespearean actor on Broadway who entertained no aspiration for movie acting prior to age 49. A major western buff, he purchased Billy The Kid's pistols and boasted friendships with both Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Teaming with producer Thomas Ince in 1915, Hart went on to star in and direct a series of excellent westerns, this twin bill being a fine example.These films have great style and quality, from the beautifully designed intercards, to the magnificent location shots, to the realistic costumes and sets. Excellent stories that compliment Hart's outstanding performances and direction grace these gritty and faithful depictions of the old west.
The Silent Man (1917, B&W, Silent): "Silent" Bud Marr, after years of suffering and hardship in the desert wasteland, discovers a rich vein of pure gold. But in the nearby hell-hole town of Bakeoven, he learns that his discovery has been stolen by "Handsome" Jack Pressley, corrupt saloon owner, bigamist and claim- jumper. With loaded six-guns in tow, "Silent" Bud rides off determined to take back the gold that is rightfully his!
Starring William S. Hart, Vola Vale, Robert McKim; Original music score by Marc Kaplan; Directed by William S. Hart.
The Silent Man (1918, B&W, Silent): Rugged lumberjack "Blue Blazes" Rawden gets into a poker game gone wrong with corrupt saloon owner and town boss, "Ladyfingers" Hilgard. The stakes escalate to a winner-take-all fight to the the death - for control of the town and the affections of Hilgard's luscious girlfriend, Babette DuFresne. Rawden kills Hilgard in a brutal fight, and is riding high with his new found wealth and girlfriend. When Hilgard's mother arrives from England seeking her son, Rawden takes pity on the woman. He creates the fiction that "Ladyfingers" was a kind and respected man, and that her son's death was courageous and accidental. But when Eric Hilgard learns who really killed his brother, he comes looking for Rawden, hell-bent on revenge.
Starring William S. Hart, Maude George, Robert McKim; Original music score by Marc Kaplan; Directed by William S. Hart.