29 July 2011 | skiddoo
funny lines and astounding horse riding
Man snubbing Kentucky who was trying to sell him western gear. "I don't wish to look like a fool." "My mistake, my mistake, but I don't think the clothes would make any difference."
I wonder how many horses were lamed filming that. Just horrible. Nobody in his or her right mind would put a horse through the race. But that was some fantastic riding. The plot shows what a trip wire could do to a horse and yet they surely used trip wires for the falls. I got an extra appreciation for the danger of the runaway stage stunt when I learned of a re-creation trail ride a few years ago where the team of a wagon was spooked and one of the horses died after getting entangled backwards in the harness.
Odd that someone named Kentucky didn't even try for a KY accent. :) I went to a Ken Maynard film festival in Columbus, IN, put on by a family member. I'd never heard of him before that. We saw some of his silent movies. It's interesting that a boy from Vevay, IN, could perform in carnivals and circuses then go west and become a trick rider with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, a circus rider with Ringling Brothers, and have a career in Hollywood. He also managed to squeeze in a stint with the army in WWI, apparently escaping being crippled or traumatized.
It was an exciting time for an adventurous soul. Cole Porter from Peru, IN, born only four years earlier than Ken, went the opposite direction and took NYC by storm. (He, however, wasn't as lucky with his horse, poor guy.)
The mingling of the sophistication of the cities with the still fairly primitive conditions of the West and Great Plains made for excellent contrasts in early westerns. It gave the audience the feeling that they could go there and have amazing things happen to them, too. It was part fantasy and part advertisement.