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  • Those of us who delight in Tom Mix' ambitious Fox silent features with their great stunts and carefully considered plots or even those who know his last rather grim sound films - DESTRY , THE MIRACLE RIDER etc. are always shocked when they see the shorts he did with Col. Selig at the start of the stars career.

    LEGAL ADVICE has the new lady lawyer causing great interest among the local cow pokes, who shove Tom out of the way to get to her. He's advised that, if he got into trouble with the law, her duty would be to have him paroled into her care, so he shoots up the town with a long gun and is hauled into court. There the lady's soppy husband shows up, causing a fainting fit among the jury and Tom to shoot himself - ho ho.

    Basic staging and interiors filmed in out of doors sets, with the wind so strong that Victoria Forde has to hold down her skirt in one office shot. A curiosity and passably amusing at this length.
  • Wow. Tom Mix not only stars in this film but he directed, wrote and produced it! Vicky Sands arrives in a town out west. She is one of the few women in town and guys certainly take notice--particularly when they learn she's an attorney. Tom wants to get her attention and so he goes on a crazy shooting spree in town---just so he can get her to be his lawyer and defend him in court. Talk about a ridiculous plot! However, things don't go quite as Tom intended. See the film and you'll understand what I mean. It's all very silly and shallow. Not hilarious but also not bad for 1916. Worth a look if you love the silents, otherwise it's not among the better silents of the era and probably won't impress the uninitiated.

    By the way, the terribly written rhyming intertitle cards were apparently added LATER--but by whom, the commentary track had no idea.
  • Legal Advice (1916)

    ** 1/2 (out of 4)

    Of all the early cowboy stars, Tom Mix had to be the bravest because he was willing to make himself look quite foolish in a genre full of tough guys. In this film, lawyer Vicky Sands (Victoria Forde) comes to a small town where all the guys fall in love with her. Tom wants to get her attention but when that doesn't happen he decides to go on a shooting rampage so that she'll have to defend him. LEGAL ADVICE is a pretty silly comedy that was written and directed by Mix so one can't blame anyone else for how he looks here. For a comedy the film is pretty much a failure because none of it is actually funny. There are a few scenes that will put a smile on your face but there's really nothing here that's going to make you laugh out loud. What does keep the film entertaining is the story itself because it's just so silly that you can't help but enjoy it. The entire idea of a man going on a shooting rampage to get the attention is just idiotic but Mix actually pulls it off here. He's actually pretty good in his role and Forde is also charming in hers. LEGAL ADVICE certainly isn't a classic Western but it is one of the more unique ones.