This is a pretty lovely film starring the director himself, Frank Borzage. I personally found it illuminating. The Pilgrim is auteurist cinema in that Borzage wrote, directed, and starred in it. It's a Western with a difference, all about his own personal views on manhood, more exuberant than his mature work. He was a handsome devil, and here he's an itinerant sometimes cowpoke who takes life as it comes. He's got a backbone and can stand up for himself, but he's not mean, and he's not possessive. A happy-go-lucky type. Visually speaking the film is great, there's a particularly lovely shot of rolling hills at one point, and lots of location shooting. The relationship in the movie, betweem him and a college girl is very emotionally mature, particularly for a movie from those days. It comes across as incredibly modern and daring at points, like when he cares for a man he's cut up in a knife fight. Borzage seems a lot more humane and care-free at this point in his life. I absolutely love this film. At the festival screening I attended, this was accompanied by an ole time guitar and fiddle duo, the choice of music is critical, this isn't one for a standard piano score, needs something folksy.
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