Desert Secret (1924)

Genres - Western  |  
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One of the least remembered of all the silent screen western stars, Bill Patton could look alternately handsome and silly. He is downright silly conversing with stranded motorist Pauline Curley in this minor Gower Gulch oater. Patton and Harry Todd might just hit a mother lode when the former, on his way to, as a title says, "rustle up some grub," has his encounter with Miss Curley. Soon after, he tangles with saloon-owner Lew Meehan, who has spent years trying to locate the same lode. Meehan, whose powerful proboscis was a clear sign of villainy, does his best to get the better of Patton and co. but, as always, to no avail. Frederick Reel, Jr. spent a couple of hundred dollars producing and directing this slow-paced western which was saddled with about the cheapest looking saloon/general store set of all time, hand-painted sign and all. Yet, Patton cuts a fine figure in his typically oversized Stetson while keeping an entire gang of cutthroats at bay. And there is a wonderful scene where Miss Curley (no shrinking violet she) drives her automobile right into the saloon to put an end to one of those surprisingly realistic-looking free-for-alls so endemic to the silent era.