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Big Stakes (1922)

 -  Western  -  15 August 1922 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 57 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Chasing a steer across the border a cowboy meets a senorita and stays on making the Mexican Captian jealous. When the Captain plans to have the cowboy killed, the cowboy gets the Captain to... See full summary »

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Title: Big Stakes (1922)

Big Stakes (1922) on IMDb 6/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
J.B. Warner ...
Jim Gregory (as James B. Warner)
...
Señorita Mercedes Aloyez (as Eleanor Fair)
Les Bates ...
Bully Brand
Willie Mae Carson ...
Mary Moore (as Wilamae Carson)
Hilliard Karr ...
Sidekick Skinny Fargo (as H.S. Karr)
R. Henry Grey ...
El Capitán Montoya (as Robert H. Grey)
Ethelbert Knott ...
Pascal (as A. Knott)
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Storyline

Chasing a steer across the border a cowboy meets a senorita and stays on making the Mexican Captian jealous. When the Captain plans to have the cowboy killed, the cowboy gets the Captain to agree to a contest between jumping beans. When the cowboy wins he says he will let the senorita decide between the two. But first he rides off to rescue another girl held by the hooded Night Riders and the Captain follows to back him up. Written by Maurice VanAuken <vanauken@comcast.net>

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Western

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15 August 1922 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Jumpin' beans and the KKK?!
18 June 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

A cowboy hero has some run-ins with a local bully. The bully always gets the worst of it, but the bully vows to eventually get revenge. At the same time, the hero manages to meet a pretty señorita and they begin making eyes at each other. The problem is, she already has a boyfriend and he AND the bully both look like they will eventually kill the handsome hero.

While some of the story elements of this film are a bit odd, the overall style of the film is pretty much the typical B-Western that Hollywood made so often from the 1920s-1950s. Instead of W.B. Warner, this film could have just as likely had Gene Autry, Ken Maynard or Hopalong Cassidy in the lead--the format is that familiar. In other words, you have the noble and handsome cowboy in the lead, a silly sidekick who is rarely there for anything other than comic relief and it's all wrapped up in only about one hour.

What makes this a bit different is that in addition to the lovely local girl, there is a Hispanic girl love interest as well--something Hollywood would not that often until the 1940s and 50s due to prejudices in much of the US about miscegenation--intimate relations between Whites and anyone else (though many Hispanics are just as pale and pasty-skinned as anyone else). In fact, to make such a pairing more tolerable to idiots out there worried about this pairing, the girl was from "100% Castillian blood" and was played by a very American-looking actress (Elinor Fair). And, oddly, the bad guy used the local version of the KKK to help him in his evil deeds. Because of it's anti-Klan, entreaty for close relations between Americans and Mexicans and pro-dating Mexicans, the film did try to be a bit deeper than the usual film in the genre--but it also pulled its punches, so to speak, because at the time, movie makers could only push so far. Nowadays, such a pairing wouldn't even be noticed--except by total morons (and, fortunately, they are becoming less and less as time goes by).

As far as the rest of the film goes, there are only a few surprises. One is the part where you get to see the fat sidekick actually gets to beat up the bad guy--a rarity in these films. Another is that the Mexican boyfriend and the hero decide who gets the girl by betting on, of all things, jumping beans!! Pretty weird stuff, huh?! But overall, it's a pretty run-of-the-mill film except for its progressive stance towards Mexicans.


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