Hell’s Hinges

The production genius of Thomas H. Ince and the extraordinary talent of the first great Western star combine for what film historian William K. Everson has called “probably William S. Hart’s best picture.” Hart is Blaze Tracey, a notorious outlaw (whose penetrating stare is enough to kill) in the aptly-named town of Hell’s Hinges, a “gun-fighting, man-killing, devil’s den of iniquity that scorched even the sun-parched soil on which it stood.” When a young minister arrives. Blaze is transformed into goodness not by religion, but by the sight of the minister’s beautiful sister, Faith. Meanwhile, the man of God is seduced by a dance hall girl, and becomes so depraved that he leads the corrupt and frenzied mob in burning down his own church. True to his name, Blaze, his two six-guns blazing, becomes an avenging angel, and is determined to do anything to cleanse the townÑoven if that means destroying it! The action sequences, including the spectacular, fiery climax, are nothing short of brilliant. To quote Everson again: “Fine camerawork, utilizing long panoramic shots and beautiful lighting, excellent editing, and a sure control over the masses of extras, fuse these scenes into an episode of astonishing vigor.” Truly a Western milestone, highly recommended. Silent film with music score, correct projection speed. 65 minutes. Western