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William S. Hart,
Anna Q. Nilsson,
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The government will grant a fringe of terrain for the settlers who want to live and work there. The starting sign will be a gunshot which will iniciate the run for the best fields and claims. Written by
Once it was among the most popular movies of its kind, and now it's generally remembered only by silent movie fans, but "Tumbleweeds" is a classic silent Western that's still worth seeing. To be sure, a lot of its appeal now comes from nostalgia, but in its time it was close to the top of its genre.
The opening scenes start the story nicely, and they also give it some thoughtful overtones, with cowboys Hart and Lucien Littlefield coming to realize their role as "Tumbleweeds" in a changing world. The 'tumbleweed' image is used well in developing Hart's character, as he faces the consequences of the land rush and of the personal affairs he gets involved in. The story itself has a lot of familiar elements, without many surprises, but the atmosphere and the characters are enough to carry it.
The land rush sequence is probably the most exciting part of the movie, and it is quite a fine set piece. It's later followed by a fast-paced climactic chase that also works well. The action makes a good complement to the atmosphere of the changing frontier, making it a movie that fits together nicely, and that still works pretty well.
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