Wild and Woolly (1917)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Western, Romance

Wild and Woolly (1917) Poster

A rich young Easterner who has always wanted to live in "the Wild West" plans to move to a Western town. Unknown to him, the town's "wild" days are long gone, and it is an orderly, ... See full summary »


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14 September 2014 | binapiraeus
| Doug wants to become a Western hero!
The wonderful opening scene of "Wild and Woolly" already tells us just about EVERYTHING about our hero: like a little boy, he's sitting in his room on the floor in front of a tipi, with a camp-fire burning next to him, and devouring a Western novel; then he gets up to admire the picture of his cowboy heroes and his collection of guns, and to jump onto a real saddle and practice shooting, and then play with his lasso - but then... his father's butler enters to inform him that he's got to leave for the office... Oh, but HOW much does Jeff, the son of a New York railroad magnate (JUST the kind of businessmen who have 'tamed' the West with their 'fire horses') long to be a TRUE Westerner!

But one day, he finally DOES get the chance to see the West: his father sends him to the little town of Bitter Creek, Arizona, to see if it's worth connecting it to the railway line! There's only one problem: the West of 1917, of course, isn't the 'good old Wild West' of the 80s anymore that Jeff dreams of... But, knowing of Jeff's big foible, the inhabitants of the sleepy hollow make their preparations for his arrival: they turn the hotel into an old-fashioned saloon, dress up like cowboys and Western girls, and even stage some 'tough' incidents for him to intervene and 'save' pretty young Nell from drunken 'baddies', and (after having replaced all the bullets with fake ones) later on even plan a fake 'hold-up' - and Jeff sure gets the thrill of his life! But since, unknown to the peaceful townsfolk, there also are REAL baddies in town, the plot suddenly takes a QUITE different turn...

Before achieving his world-wide fame with his great swashbucklers, Douglas Fairbanks had already become a much-loved star of comedies and westerns (a fact which, regrettably, is very often being overlooked today, and many of his early films have almost sunken into oblivion) - but he certainly was at his VERY best in a combination of both; just the kind of movies like "Wild and Woolly"! Here, our handsome young hero, romantic, bubbly, temperamental and athletic, is most DEFINITELY in his element when he can finally prove that he's a real 'Westerner' (in fact, Doug WAS a real Westerner, of course: he was born in Denver, Colorado, and in the days when the West still WAS somewhat wild; but he'd also spent quite some years in New York, playing on Broadway), and as always show us his marvelous acrobatic tricks - note HIS way of getting into his room on the second floor, with all the stairs being blocked by the gangsters...

The cast is wonderful, with lovely Eileen Percy (who was quite a star in those days, but today unfortunately is one of those many 'forgotten' names...), and the two 'usual suspects', Sam De Grasse and Charles Stevens (Doug's friend, a Native American and great-grandson of the famous Chief Geronimo) as the baddies; storyline and direction are superb, the pace is fast and keeps us entertained, amused and in suspense for EVERY single moment - in short: "Wild and Woolly" is one of those films that NEVER lose their freshness! And it'll thrill even 'newbies' to the silent cinema, it's great entertainment for the whole family; and besides that, it might be VERY interesting for fans of the Western genre to have a look for once at the way Westerns were long BEFORE the 'classic' Western era...

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Plot Summary


Comedy | Western | Romance


Release Date:

24 June 1917


None, English

Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Nogales, Arizona, USA

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