Learning his sister's husband has deserted her, Texas arrives to find her dead. When he finds him abusing Moya Dalton, Texas kills him in a gunfight. Attracted to Moya, Texas stays on. After foiling a stage robbery he becomes Sheriff. But then Moya is kidnaped. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
A cowboy hero known only as "Texas" (Tom Mix) goes to Montana to find the man who done his sister wrong. After neatly dispatching the villain, he falls for a local girl and decides to stick around, becoming involved in several adventures with stage robbers, rustlers, and kidnappers.
How can you possibly try to rate a low-budget western from 1915? If you're watching this film, you're probably watching it as a lesson in the history of film making, and in that context it does provide some interest. Every scene is shot in a single take from a single fixed camera. There are neither close-ups nor the extreme long shots which will become one of the defining characteristics of the Hollywood western. It's filmed using the natural overhead sunlight, so the faces are constantly in shadow from all the 10-gallon cowboy hats. This basically means that the characters are little more than bodies acting out the motions described in the title cards.
The plot itself contains all the elements which Hollywood will re-use countless times, although here we see them in a very abbreviated form. No doubt these were taken directly from the dime novels and horse operas of the late 19th century. From a stylistic point of view, however, this film doesn't appear to have added anything to the Western genre which hadn't already been seen in "The Great Train Robbery" filmed more than 10 years earlier. Nevertheless, since most films this old which we have the chance to see are those preserved as classics, it's fun to be able to watch a 1915 film which was nothing but run-of-the-mill entertainment.
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