The mining town of Peaceful Vale is a rough place, and sheriff 'Gun Shy' Gallagher can do little about it, since the town is ruled by Crooked Charley, the gambler. Charley runs Pierre the tavern keeper out of town, and takes Pierre's daughter Nell as his prisoner. But when Billy Blazes sees Charley's henchmen harassing Pierre, he rescues Pierre and then proceeds to confront Charley back at the tavern. Written by
Harold Lloyd parodies the William S. Hart stoic Western hero prototype, resulting in an interesting one-reeler rather than an uproarious one; the later and somewhat similar AN EASTERN WESTERNER (1920) is, however, a superior effort because it was fitted to the star's typical formula. Bebe Daniels is once again the heroine/damsel in distress (she made a staggering 146 shorts with Lloyd according to the IMDb - apparently, only a handful of these have survived to make it into New Line's DVD collection devoted to the comic genius!).
Incidentally, I had first come across BILLY BLAZES, ESQ. while in Hollywood late last year on TCM, as part of an all-night Harold Lloyd marathon shown in conjunction with the release of the 7-Disc Set (compiling 28 of his films made between 1919 and 1936). In the end, it easily emerges as the least among 7 of the star's Silent comedy shorts that I've watched up to this point.
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