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When Reverend Robert Henley and his sister Faith arrive in the town of Hell's Hinges, saloon owner Silk Miller and his cohorts sense danger to their evil ways. They hire gunman Blaze Tracy to run the minister out of town. But Blaze finds something in Faith Henley that turns him around, and soon Silk Miller and his compadres have Blaze to deal with. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
One of the 50 films in the 4-disk boxed DVD set called "Treasures from American Film Archives (2000)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 18 American film archives. This film was preserved by the Museum of Modern Art. See more »
I reckon God ain't wantin' me much, ma'am, but when I look at you, I feel I've been ridin' the wrong trail.
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Historic Western has William S. Hart playing "Blaze" Tracy, a notorious gunfighter who is evil pure through until he meets a young woman (Clara Williams) arriving in town with her Reverend brother (Jack Standing). Blaze is immediately attracted to the woman and soon he begins to have thoughts about changing his ways but the bad folks in town are trying to turn the Reverend into one of them. This is a pretty strong little movie even if it barely runs an hour and spends way too much of that time on top of a soap box. I was really impressed with what this film had to offer and I think it's fair to say that it deserves every bit of its reputation and status of being one of the first classics from the genre. The film is about good versus evil and religious versus non-religious and there's no question what side the film is on. I think the film spends too much time preaching to us but this is a small problem and one that isn't overly distracting. With that said, the film contains some very memorable shots including the first look at the town known as Hell's Hinges. I love the high shot overlooking the town where we get a good look at all the evils going on within this short take. The scene will take your breathe away as it's such a terrific shot and it lets you know everything you need to know about this place. We also get another terrific shot towards the end of the movie when the church is attacked and we get to see it's aftermath. Hart is terrific in his role and he does very good job at showing off the evils of his character but the actor also makes us believe his changing. I think the change happens too fast but there's no question Hart owns this role and really makes it a memorable character. Williams and Standing are also very good as is Alfred Hollingsworth in his role. Jean Hersholt is somewhere in the film but unspotted by myself as is John Gilbert in his first screen appearance. Apparently Hart directed the majority of the film even though he doesn't get credit for it and I must say that the entire film is quite an impressive achievement even if it doesn't run as long as some of the films were starting to do at the time. The movie contains some memorable characters, some terrific shots and a rather rousing ending and all of this makes it a must see.
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