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William S. Hart,
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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
Poetry and motion: One of the greatest of silent films
Just from reading about him, I became a fan of William S. Hart before I ever saw one of his movies.
When I moved to Los Angeles, I made a pilgrimage to the late lamented Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax, not only to see whatever silent films there might be available, but to plead for a chance to see any Hart film, and especially "Tumbleweeds," about which I had read so much.
Alas, the Hamptons, owners of the Theatre, never did show it, but I was able to rent a 16 mm print and show it myself, in my tiny living room.
It was all I had hoped. It was, and is, magnificent.
Character development was nigh onto perfect, and the intertitles by C. Gardner Sullivan, surely one of the greatest of such writers, merely enhanced the beauty of the presentation.
Oh, but there is more: Camera angles were brilliantly formatted. Only later did I learn that Mr. Hart himself was co-director.
William S. Hart (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0366586/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1) was born a city slicker but, like me, I guess, he fell in love with the West and its mystique. He wanted to share that love with everyone, and for too few years presented the mythology.
You can find his spoken farewell at YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BlgWP3Airs), and if you're really lucky you will find a copy of "Tumbleweeds" with that farewell used as a prologue. It still moves me to tears.
One reason I cry is that, listening to him, I think how great a talkie actor he could have been, with that voice; and I think what a loss to those of us who love Westerns generally and William S. Hart in particular.
"Tumbleweeds" is a classic, regardless of genre.
It is poetry on film, a magnificent motion picture.
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