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By Indian Post (1919)

Jode McWilliams, the foreman of Circle O, is in love with Peg, the daughter of Pa Owens, the owner of the ranch. The trouble is that daddy won't allow! Which does not stop Jode from wanting... See full summary »


John Ford (as Jack Ford)


William Wallace Cook (story "The Trail of the Billy-Doo"), H. Tipton Steck (scenario)


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Credited cast:
Pete Morrison ... Jode MacWilliams - the Foreman of Circle O, in Love with Peg
Duke R. Lee ... Pa Owens - the Owner of the Ranch, Peg's Dad
Magda Lane Magda Lane ... Peg Owens - the Ranch Owner's Daughter
Edward Burns Edward Burns ... (as Ed Burns)
Jack Woods Jack Woods ... Dutch
Harley Chambers Harley Chambers ... Fritz
Hoot Gibson ... Chub -Jode's Helpful Cowboy Friend
Jim Moore Jim Moore ... Two Horns - a Facetious Indian
Jack Walters Jack Walters ... Andy
Otto Meyer Otto Meyer ... Swede (as Otto Myers)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ed Jones Ed Jones ... Stumpy aka Beany - a Poet of a Cook


Jode McWilliams, the foreman of Circle O, is in love with Peg, the daughter of Pa Owens, the owner of the ranch. The trouble is that daddy won't allow! Which does not stop Jode from wanting to marry Peg. He asks Stumpy, the cook, to help him write a love letter to the lady of his heart. The other cowhands find it and, with a view to making fun of Jode, nail it to the door. Two Horns, an Indian, steals it and ... delivers it to Peg. When Jode and his posse, pursuing the facetious redskin, arrive at the Owenses' house, Jode's boss has already found out. A showdown ensues and the young man, who has lost the fight, is made prisoner and held in a room. But he is rescued by his pal Chub and a helpful parson marry the two lovebirds. Away they ride from the reluctant father towards happiness. Written by Guy Bellinger

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Short | Western

User Reviews

"Somebody's roped my love letter"
14 December 2008 | by Steffi_PSee all my reviews

This short Western RomCom provides a glimpse at the early times of John Ford's career as a director. It also shows us an example of where the Western was at by 1919.

So what distinguishes this as a Ford film? Very little, but there are a few noteworthy features. There is a certain neatness to the shot composition, and even some tentative hints towards his canny use of framing. His arrangements are occasionally a little haphazard though. Take for example the long shot in which Jode (screen centre), flirts with Peg (screen right) while Pa Owens' henchman (screen left) watches disapprovingly – it's not clear whereabouts our eyes are supposed to be drawn. Unsurprisingly, the shots are at their most simple and iconic when they show men riding across the countryside on horseback.

What is also very typically Fordian in this film is its refusal to get to grips with one-to-one (i.e. romantic) relationships, to concentrate instead on community relationships. However since the film was butchered and shorn of about seven minutes (by the collector who acquired it no less) it is hard to tell whereabouts the narrative is supposed to be weighted.

Contrary to what some have said about Stagecoach (or even Dodge City) inventing the modern genre, it's fairly clear that by this point the Western was already a rich mine of clichés, a surprisingly large number of which are squeezed into this short. In fact the only thing that really sets this apart as a Western of its time (apart from the obvious) is that the cowboys wear chaps. Chaps are everywhere in the silent Westerns, but for some reason they went out of fashion when the talkies arrived. Importantly, the Western was clearly also now a backdrop against which you could do a comedy, rather than it having to be a Western in its own right.

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None | English

Release Date:

24 May 1919 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Love Letter See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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