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A young man grows restless living in a small Kansas town, dreaming of the adventures of the Three Musketeers. So in hopes of becoming a modern D'Artagnan, he mounts his steed (a Model T Ford) and sets out across the West in search of excitement and adventure. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The El Tovar Hotel, prominently shown in the movie, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. See more »
When Chin-de-dah leads Vandeteer and Elsie through the Canyon, the shadows of the cameraman and another crew member are visible on the ground. See more »
Except for Douglas Fairbanks, whose name appears above the title, there is no cast list. Actors are introduced by intertitle cards just before they appear on the screen. The IMDb cast list therefore uses this "order of appearance" sequence. See more »
This will be one of the more enjoyable silent movies you'll come across
restored by the Danish Film Institute and of very good quality, and
starring one of the greats of the silent era - Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. - as Ned Thacker, a man raised in Kansas being read the stories of D'Artagnan by his mother, and who grows up to be a modern day version of the musketeer, defending the honour of women at every step.
The movie opens with two really good fight scenes - a swashbuckling look back at D'Artagnan (also played by Fairbanks) as he fights to re-claim a woman's handkerchief, and our first look at Thatcher in a bar-room brawl as he defends the honour of a woman he thought was being treated poorly by her male companion. These were both fun scenes, and I enjoyed the unexpected humour as we got a glimpse of how Ned started his career as a chivalrous man by being arrested on a streetcar as he demands that a man give up his seat for two women, only to discover that the man was the chief of police! So the story had a good start.
If it lost its way a bit, it was in the decision to then focus exclusively on Ned's pursuit of Elsie Dodge (Marjorie Daw) - a young woman being forced by her mother into a relationship with a rich man in order to help pay bills. I thought the story might have been more effective if it had continued to be a series of vignettes of Thacker defending women in various circumstances. The move into the Grand Canyon, and the introduction of the bad Indian Chin-de-dah (Frank Campeau) - who fancies himself a king and decides he's going to kidnap and marry Elsie - struck me as an unnecessary diversion, which ended up as far more than a diversion - it becomes the story.
Still, if that goes a little too far, this was still a fun movie. There's no doubt about that. I enjoyed Fairbanks. Overall I thought both the movie and Fairbanks had the feel of something you might have seen remade by Bob Hope in the 1940's - a light, silly, Western-oriented comedy. A typical line, for example, that I could easily have seen put on Hope's mouth (which, of course, in this is simply a caption) comes as Ned and Elsie look at the splendour of the Grand Canyon and Ned says "Golly. A gully." That's the sort of light comedy I hear coming from Hope's mouth. This has a lot of that, and some good action scenes, and those opening fight scenes that really do draw you in. (7/10)
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