22 January 2013 | Michael_Elliott
Nice Little Comedy
*** (out of 4)
New York playboy Bill Dana (Richard Dix) falls in love with Molly (Ester Ralston) but she prefers men who have grown up in the tough West. In order to become tough, Bill moves out West only to discover that the real cowboys are in movies and what's left are Eastern folks who don't even know how to ride a horse. When Bill hears that Molly is coming to visit him, he must set up the ranch to look like the West everyone has seen in movies. WOMANHANDLED isn't a complete success but I think for the most part there are enough good performances and laughs to make it worth sitting through. It should be noted that the version on the Treasures Vol 5: The West collection only runs 55-minutes as a long sequence was taken out for some reason and the ending is also lost but well detailed in the production notes. With that said, I thought both Dix and Ralston were extremely good together and certainly helped sell the romance a lot better than many other actors would have. This is especially true for Dix who was wonderful in his part and made you really believe he was this East coast guy who was about to get a rude awakening out West. I also thought Cora Williams was fun as the aunt and the rest of the supporting cast are actually strong as well. The comedy in the film for the most part works and this is especially true during the first half. One of the best jokes has Dix saving a little child from "drowning" and another sequence dealing with a couple homeless guys. Again, the film is far from perfect but I think it's quite clever for the most part and silent film buffs should enjoy it.