Silent Cowboy Double Feature: Pioneers of the West/Flashing Steeds [DVD]

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Flashing Steeds
This obscure silent Western starred the equally obscure Bill Patton, a former rodeo rider and stunt-man from Texas. Patton's Westerns remained near the bottom rung of the screen ladder and were exhibited only in smaller venues. This time around, Patton played a government agent posing as a cowboy in order to get the goods on a gang of international con men headed by "Lord" and "Lady Rathburne" (Merrill McCormick and Ethel Childers). Leading lady Dorothy Donald, who is almost duped by the swindlers, also appeared opposite other low-rent cowboys such as Bob Burns and Al Richmond. Flashing Steeds was one in a series of four Westerns produced and director by Horace B. Carpenter for release by Chesterfield. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Pioneers of the West
As a foreword to this low-budget silent western intones, "Perhaps the most important step in the early stages of the settlement of the Far West was the establishment of the historic Pony Express in 1859." One of the bravest of the riders, "Pony Bob" Haslam (Dick Carter) gets in trouble with the Piutes, whose chief, Black Eagle (Olin Francis), has come under the influence of a greedy white renegade, Aleck Harvey (Bud Osborne). The latter is not only after a shipment of gold but also Bright Feather (Dorothy Earle), a white girl abducted in childhood by the Indians. Much to the consternation of the chief's previous favorite, the scheming Moonlight (Gene Crosby), Black Eagle wants to make Bright Feather his squaw but the girl has fallen in love with "Pony Bob," "the only real man of her race she has ever seen," as a title explains. When forced to pick either Black Eagle or Harvey, Bright Feather chooses a third option: to take her own life. Will Bob be in time to rescue the distressed damsel? Produced in the late 1910s-very early 1920s but not released until 1927, this independently made Western bears no resemblance to the 1929 oater of the same title. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Cast & Crew

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    Bill Patton - Bill Swift
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    Dorothy Donald - Helen Randall
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    Merrill McCormick - Lord Rathburne
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    Dick La Reno - Captain Randall
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    Harry O'Connor - Joe Stern
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