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The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926)

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While building an irrigation system for a Southwestern desert community, an engineer vies with a local cowboy for the affections of a rancher's daughter.



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Credited cast:
Barbara Worth
Abe Lee
Charles Lane ...
Jefferson Worth
Paul McAllister ...
The Seer
E.J. Ratcliffe ...
James Greenfield
Clyde Cook ...
Erwin Connelly ...
Pat Mooney
Ed Brady ...
Sammy Blum ...
Horace Blanton
Fred Esmelton ...
George Cartwright
Bill Patton ...
Little Rosebud (as William Patton)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Odel Conley ...
Minor Role


Jefferson Worth finds an orphaned child in the desert and raises her as his daughter, Barbara. When grown, Barbara is beloved by Abe Lee, the foreman of her father's ranch and company. When a rich land developer arrives with plans to irrigate the desert, Worth joins forces with him. The developer's foster son, Willard, falls for Barbara and a rivalry develops between him and Abe. The river is dammed, but the developer swindles the ranchers and refuses to reinforce the weakening dam, as he no longer needs it. An angry mob turns on Worth, Willard and Abe come near confrontation over Barbara, and all the time, that dam is getting weaker.... Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | Western






Release Date:

14 October 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Entfesselte Elemente  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At its premiere revival presentation at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on 11 May 1971, Vilma Bánky was a no show, but the only two other surviving members of the cast, Clyde Cook and Glen Walters were present in the audience, along with other film notables. The organ accompaniment on the DVD is that of Gaylord Carter actually recorded that evening during the presentation. See more »


Willard Holmes: [to Barbara] When the fight is won, I'm coming back for you!
See more »


Featured in Hollywood (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Love Triangle Amidst the Taming of the Desert
27 July 2007 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Beautifully photographed epic silent western following the story of a toddler baby girl caught in a desert sandstorm that kills her mother, the child's only surviving parent on their family's wagon trek along a lonely desert trail. Rescued by a man named Jefferson Worth, soon little orphan Barbara becomes his adopted daughter - cut to fifteen years later, where our Barbara (played by Vilma Banky) is now a young beauty living with papa in the small desert town of Rubio City. Enter new arrival, Willard Holmes, engineer set to help bring water to the desert and turn it into a garden spot. Of course he's handsome (well, he's played by Ronald Colman, after all) - but Barbara already has a local fellow, Abe Lee (Gary Cooper), who is completely smitten over her (and extremely handsome too - how's a girl to choose?!). Holmes actively pursues Barbara while Abe Lee watches from the background - but soon a misunderstanding leaves the whole town believing Holmes is a money hungry bad man!

This film is a stunning visual masterpiece showcasing images of wagons and people and horses moving against a backdrop of yellow-tinted sun-lit desert that looks absolutely gorgeous, not to mention the exciting flood climax featuring a fast-paced race on foot and wagon between the townspeople and the approaching roar of the Colorado river which is expertly brought to life. The DVD of this features a totally gorgeous tinted print that really makes the cinematography in this pop, plus a well done organ score done before a live audience (who you can sometimes hear laughing in the background). A really excellent film.

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