25 July 2018 | boblipton
I Still Don't Know What They Were Smuggling
Franklyn Farnum is the Wasp. He's on the run from the sheriff's posse, when a rope appears from the cliff and he's hoisted to safety by Black Pete. Soon he's involved with a missing load of smuggled goods, Priscilla Bonner, who doesn't want to have anything to do with it or Black Pete, and Marie Walcamp, who's a member of Black Pete's gang, and who spends most of her time flashing her eyes at all and sundry.
There's a lot of action in this Farnum silent western, directed by J. P. McGowan, who had started out with Helen Holmes. They had gotten married and he co-starred and he directed her in her serials and action stories, then he branched out into westerns, again, with plenty of action. Sound slowed him down a lot and his career fubbled out in the late 1930s, both behind of and in front of the camera (he's got a tiny role as an old man in Ford's STAGECOACH; McGowan had been a big shot at Universal City when Ford was starting out).
The copy I saw was not in the greatest of shape. Large sections were bubbled out of existence and the titles appeared to have been translated back into English from some other language -- I suspect Spanish. Some of the phrases used don't make any sense and what they're smuggling is never specified; it's always referred to as "contraband." But there's plenty of action, from horse-riding, to people leaping up and down mountainsides to fistfights, as well as a goodly amount of rough humor and the remnants of some good camerawork. I don't know what more you want in a western.