In 1911, as part of his massive undertaking, famed Northwest photographer Edward S. Curtis travelled to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to visit the Kwakwaka'wakw. By the next year, ... See full summary »
Edward S. Curtis
Sarah Constance Smith Hunt,
Mrs. George Walkus
So Joe Schenck cut a great deal with Paramount to get Arbuckle into features. And as long as they were paying him an amazing sum of money, they gave him a role in this western until they could get a comedy vehicle ready for him. Paramount got its money's worth out of its stars by putting them in a LOT of movies.
Roscoe is pretty good in a largely straight role here. It's a supporting role in the midst of eight or nine major plots, but built up a bit because Arbuckle is the biggest star here. He gets to do his signature cigarette-rolling gag. If you've never seen it, look for it.
But what makes this movie a joy is that director George Melford was a great stylist and knew where to tell his cameramen to point the camera: keep the mountains in the picture, that's an amazing bunch of rocks, and so on. And, frankly, the print I saw, from the Library of Congress, is a wonderful print: plenty of silver in the print, no scratches and just enough granularity to make the stars shimmer. It's the most beautiful black-and-white print I've seen in at least 15 years. If you get a chance to see it, take it. When someone says "they don't make 'em like that anymore" sometimes they're referring to the actual piece of film.
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