21 August 2019 | boblipton
Fast and Silly
'Big Boy' Williams is trying to make his mortgage payment, but banker Claude Payton has just learned that the railroad is coming through, and he's going to round up all the land as cheap as he can. He's so cheap -- how cheap is he? -- that he tries to cheat hired killers out of half their fee. He's gotten the engineer doing the survey killed, but the maps he's made are missing, so he goes after the engineer's daughter, tiny Helen Westcott. Fortunately, Williams and schoolmarm Marion Shilling get custody.
This is directed by Edward Ulmer under the pseudonym of Joen Warner, from a script by his current squeeze and future wife, still going by her married name of Shirley Alexander.... all part of the story of how Ulmer lost his directing gig at Universal. It's a short B western, eked out not only by overlong riding sequences in which horses climb fifty-degree inclines, but by his ranch hands doing imitations of radio stars of the day.
Williams was the son of a World War One Officer, who served one term as a U.S. Congressman. The story goes that he turned down a chance to go to West Point to take up acting. He quickly became friends with Will Rogers and was in the movies by 1919. Later, he became a stalwart member of Warner's company of supporting actors whever they needed a big, dumb guy who wasn't Alan Hale.