On April 23, 1923, THE SUNSHINE TRAIL was released by First National, another Douglas MacLean comedic vehicle with James Horne directing, this one lasting five reels. The cost was $109,785, and it had been shot almost a year before, from April 8 to May 24, 1922. In this William Wallace Cook story adapted by Bradley King, MacLean played a guileless heir who is robbed and saddled with a lost infant when returning to his hometown to find a childhood girlfriend. She and the townsfolk had believed he died in the Argonne, with his inheritance forfeited, and his sweetheart ready to marry his rival. For a young man who is a compulsive philanthropist and believes in the Sunshine Trail motto, "Scatter kindness on your way, do good to someone every day," his experience is profoundly disillusioning. THE SUNSHINE TRAIL is a satire of the Pollyanna theme as every possible misfortune occurs to the hero until the end.
For THE SUNSHINE TRAIL, producer Thomas Ince bought a small mining branch railroad near the California-Nevada-Arizona line, so he could wreck trains and stage auto and train collisions without the enormous rental demanded by railroad companies. In conveying a flashback "vision" of the boy and girl in childhood, the stars themselves are placed among mammoth furniture, rather than the more typical approach of using young actors to play the characters at an earlier age. George Gershwin wrote a musical score to go along with the movie. As revealed in my Ince biography, after ten months in release, by the end of February 1924, THE SUNSHINE TRAIL had grossed $171,215.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?