Broncho Billy and the Schoolmistress (1912)

Short, Western

A new schoolteacher arrives at Snakeville and immediately all the marriageable men of the county come a-courtin'. The affair finally resolves about Jack Heyworth and Broncho Billy, but it ... See full summary »


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10 April 2012 | boblipton
| The Cowboy and the Pretty Schoolmarm
The first all-American cowboy star of the cinema was a guy named.... Max Aronson. After playing three or four roles in Edwin Porter's landmark THE GREAT TRAIN ROBERRY - including the guy who shoots at the audience at the film's end -- he recognized the commercial possibilities. In 1907 he formed Essannay Films with George Spoor and prospered for a dozen years as producer, director, writer and star of the Broncho Billy comedies.

Billy's character and story changed from film to film. In this one, he has wandered into Snakeville, the setting of Essannay's comedy-western series. The pretty schoolmarm has been warned about wandering around and has brandished a derringer, so the usual suspects decide to play a practical joke by faking a holdup, casting Billy as the bandit. As your mother would tell you, it's all fun and games until Billy gets shot. Don't worry. There's more story ahead.

This may be pretty hard to follow. Later in the year Mack Sennett would set up Keystone and his editing was impeccable -- and still chaotic to the modern eye. Even so, there's a decent story, decent acting and while the humor is very rough, it's short and performed with good humor and some interesting camera-work.

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Short | Western

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