ON THE NIGHT STAGE
1915, 62 min, USA, Dir: Reginald Barker

William S. Hart, plays “Silent” Texas Smith, a man to whom actions speak louder than words in this Western. A new parson (Robert Edeson) converts saloon dancer Belle Shields (Rhea Mitchell), drawing her away from her stagecoach robber boyfriend (Hart) – until she attracts the attention of a ne’er do well gambler. While Edeson received top billing, Hart’s charismatic virility and acting genius made him a natural standout in his second feature length film. Producer Thomas H. Ince assigned Reginald Barker to direct but the film contains the unmistakable stamp of Hart’s intuitive grasp of the new medium. With its terrifically staged, massive saloon fight, this is a wonderfully enjoyable example of early American feature filmmaking.


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