On The Night Stage

1500. 0N THE NIGHT STAGE (1915-usa). With William S. Hart, Robert Edeson, Rhea Mitchell. Produced by THOMAS INCE. William S. Hart, one of the cinema’s first Western stars, spent much of his youth in the real Wild West For this reason, his films are noted for their graphic, realistic recreations of Western settings, as well as simple, stark, hard-hitting scenarios emphasizing character and plot development That is exactly what you’ll find in ON the NIGHT STAGE. This film is one of Hart’s very first features, which makes it one of Hollywood’s very first feature-length Westerns. Hart is cast as “Silent” Texas Smith, a gruff, tough, mean-tempered “road agent” (stagecoach robber) so nicknamed because he communicates with others mostly through his fists. A cowboy chides him that his fickle lady friend, dance hall girl Belle Shields, is sweet on Austin, the town’s new “sky pilot” (preacher). This is enough to ignite the fuse of Smith, who has had one-too-many shots of whiskeyÑand he quickly finds himself in the center of a brawl. None other than Austin comes to his assistance, so Texas must at least admit that Belle has chose a real man to be the object of her affections. Belle has been discontented with her fast lifestyle; she and Austin soon wed, and she transforms herself into a minister’s proper, prim wife. How soon will she be tempted to resume her old waysÑand be unfaithful to her husband? What part will Texas attempt to take in her redemption? What will be his fate? Silent film with original organ score, correct projection speed. 83 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Western