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Three Word Brand (1921)

Not Rated | | Western | 16 October 1921 (USA)
Ben Trego dies defending his twin sons from Indian attack. Separated, the two boys grow up very differently, one as Paul Marsden, the other as a cowboy named Three Word Brand. Paul becomes ... See full summary »


Lambert Hillyer


Lambert Hillyer (adaptation), Will Reynolds (story)

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Complete credited cast:
William S. Hart ... Three Word Brand / Governor Marsden / Ben Trego
Jane Novak ... Ethel Barton
S.J. Bingham S.J. Bingham ... George Barton
J. Gordon Russell J. Gordon Russell ... Bull Yeates (as Gordon Russell)
George C. Pearce ... John Murray (as George Pearce)
Collette Forbes Collette Forbes ... Governor's Fiance


Ben Trego dies defending his twin sons from Indian attack. Separated, the two boys grow up very differently, one as Paul Marsden, the other as a cowboy named Three Word Brand. Paul becomes governor of Utah while Brand partners with George Barton in a ranch. The owner of the adjacent ranch plots to get Barton and Brand out of the way in order to control water rights. When Governor Marsden comes to the area to investigate, Brand sees the resemblance between them, though neither knows about his twin. Brand waylays Paul and takes his place as governor in an attempt to thwart the crooked rancher in the water rights scheme. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Plot Keywords:

water rights | utah | See All (2) »


Not Much in Mouth Work---He Was the "Listenin'est Man in Utah"--But in a Fight--Oh Man! (Print Ad-The Morning Leader,((Regina, Sask.)) 5 December 1921)




Not Rated






Release Date:

16 October 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cowboyguvernören See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Reels 1 and 2 of this film survive at the UCLA Film and Television Archives, in original nitrate form, reels 3 and 4 were discarded for unknown reasons and their catalogue does not state why. See more »

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User Reviews

Let There Be L7
26 May 2008 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

In the old west, home-seeker William S. Hart (as Ben Trego) finds a dreamy spot to build, for himself and his twin boys. Unfortunately, there are savage Indians (aka Native Americans) around; obviously, they haven't studied "manifest destiny". To protect his motherless sons from Indians, Mr. Hart blows himself up. Although Hart's pioneer-man is eventually memorialized ("Trego County", "Trego Valley"); his twins are separated, after being sent to an orphanage. They grow up to be William S. Hart (in two additional roles, as Bill Brand and Paul Marsden).

Hart as "Bill Brand" is a rancher; he is affectingly called "Three Word Brand", due to his economy with words. Hart as "Paul Marsden" is the newly elected Governor of Utah. Rancher Hart and partner S.J. Bingham (as George Barton) find the "L7" ranch threatened by nasty neighbor Gordon Russell (as Bull Yeates). Mr. Russell frames Mr. Bingham for murder; and plots to take the "L7" from Hart. Russell's lovely young sister, Jan Novak (as Ethel Barton), is Hart's romantic interest.

It's nice to see Hart in a dual role (not counting his fatherly introduction); however, "Three Word Brand" doesn't really take advantage of its dramatic possibilities. Hart's characterizations are surprisingly one-dimensional for an actor who played "good/bad" duality so memorably; but, the script doesn't offer him much opportunity. Hart's highlights occurs later in the film, when his simple Rancher twin ("Brand") impersonates the more sophisticated Governor twin ("Marsden"). It's nicely photographed, and mostly enjoyable, despite a certain lack of excitement.

****** Three Word Brand (9/25/21) Lambert Hillyer ~ William S. Hart, Jan Novak, J. Gordon Russell

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