Red Rider (1925)

Genres - Western  |  
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Silent Western star Jack Hoxie played a Native American in this otherwise standard oater, which the actor nevertheless considered one of his favorite films. From extant photographs, Hoxie looks rather ridiculous, however, rather resembling a cross between Judy Garland's Dorothy and a drag queen. He played White Elk, an Indian brave who befriends a group of white settlers after preventing the villainous Black Panther (Jack Pratt) from attacking the wagon train. Black Panther, however, doesn't take kindly to White Elk's interference, and the latter barely escapes being burned at the stake. Seeking shelter among the white folks, White Elk falls in love with Lucille Cavanaugh (Mary McAllister). The girl is captured by Black Panther and left to fend for herself adrift in a canoe. Fortunately, White Elk manages to save the damsel-in-distress right before the raging waterfall. Although a hero, the Indian brave is not permitted to marry the girl until, happily, it is discovered that he isn't a Native after all, but the ubiquitous survivor of an Indian raid and only raised by the tribe. A large cast -- which included Hoxie's then-wife, Marin Sais, in a minor role -- supported Hoxie in this major Universal "Blue Streak Western," which firmly cemented Hoxie's reputation as the studio's second most popular cowboy star next to the genial Hoot Gibson.