15 August 2017 | AlsExGal
WHO is that billed above Fay Wray?
...That would be Jack Hoxie, a true Western star if there ever was one, and star of dozens of silent westerns, ending his silent career at Universal which was known for its Western films in the silent era.
This is a pretty short film. Hoxie plays Jack Tanner, who enters a competition to capture ten thousand wild horses for a cash prize. He then plans to ask Jessie Hayden (Fay Wray) for her hand in marriage. However, hissable villain Charlie Champion beats him to the proposal. Meanwhile a woman looking for the husband that abandoned her finds refuge in Tanner's house. When Jessie goes to Tanner's house and sees the woman in a bathrobe tending to Jack's laundry she draws all of the wrong conclusions and decides to marry Champion on the rebound. An aside here- Honestly Jessie, that woman looks like she is just shy of 40. You are less than half her age. She might be his aunt there for a visit! Lighten up! Meanwhile, Champion's men decide to let the wild horses go from Tanner's make shift corral just as Champion and Jesse are making their way into town. The key is that these are "wild" horses. They are not just going to amble out of the corral at a normal gait, they are going to stampede! And right into the path of Jesse and Champion's buggy! Tanner rides like the wind to explain about the woman at his house to Jessie if she will let him, to save her from the "wild horse stampede", and deliver one other piece of vital information that up until now all of the parties involved were not privy to.
This was a great little western with lots of action, the film moves along nicely, and special honors have to go to Bunk the Dog, who really knew how to act.
Hoxie's story is rather sad. He had great talent in roping, riding, and stunts, but westerns could not be made because of the camera's need to be static for about the first three years after and during the transition to sound. Hoxie made only one film between the end of 1927 and 1932 as a result. Plus, Hoxie's looks were those of a silent star not those of the Gables and Gary Coopers that rose up in the 1930s. If you have never seen him, Hoxie greatly resembled John Travolta in pancake makeup. Besides his style, Hoxie was illiterate, which made the transition to sound and scripted roles impossible. He died in obscurity in the 1960s, sadly forgotten with many of his films destroyed by neglect and decomposition.