12 February 2005 | silentfilm-2
Rediscovered John Ford western
This film was thought lost, but re-discovered recently and restored in France. The story is simple. Cheyenne Harry, a cowboy, gets engaged to the ranch boss' daughter, Helen. Unfortunately, a city slicker comes to town and quickly steals her heart away. She skips town to the surprise of Cheyenne and her father. However, New York does not work out very well for her.
Although this is a cheap Universal western, it has plenty of John Ford touches and themes that fans of Mr. Ford will appreciate. There is the typical drinking after work scene, and a big fist-fight involving cowboys. There is typical Ford humor also, such as when Harry tries on a new pair of pants in the general store, or he mistakes a hissing radiator for a rattlesnake.
The "horse-breaking" scene was unimaginatively filmed in extreme long shot. On the other hand, the proposal scene was shot at night with either simulated or actual firelight and it is beautiful. There are also unusual close-ups (for the time) of Harry Carey's face as well as his boots and a valentine charm he carves. Although the story is nothing special, the direction shows how talented John Ford was early in his career. Recommended for silent film and John Ford fans!