5 September 2006 | movingpicturegal
The Taming of a Selfish "Hart"
The photography is the thing in this magnificently photographed, short and satisfying silent film. From the beauty of the desert vista where two young sisters (Jane Novak and teen era child actress Thelma Salter) watch their father die on the desert floor, then trek via covered wagon to the nearest town alone, a frontier town and saloon, threadbare and stark against the prairie sky, to the smoke from a cigar wafting around the face of William S. Hart as it fills the screen - this film is a real visual experience more than compelling story, you can really feel the Old West here - it's a real treat to see on a big screen.
Hart plays "Selfish" Yates, a man with a motto "Me first, me second, me to the end", and "Never do for anyone but yourself". He has a young protégée named Hotfoot, abandoned son of a dance hall girl, who is being taught the ropes by Yates, but with the two pretty sisters in town, it just may be only a matter of time before Yates and Hotfoot get tamed of their selfish ways!
I found this film to be quite good, I always enjoy the performances of William S. Hart, his face and eyes are so expressive, perfect for the silent screen. Jane Novak's appeal in this is more visual than any great acting quality - her big-eyed, pretty young face standing in contrast next to the sun-worn face of Hart. The print I saw of this looked gorgeous, mostly tinted a bright yellow/sepia tone. Well worth seeing.