Riders of the Range (1924)

Genres - Action, Western  |   Run Time - 62 min.  |  
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Already an established leading lady if not yet the theatrical icon she was to become, Helen Hayes moonlighted in this otherwise obscure western released by the Colorado-based Art-O-Graph company. Actually, Hayes' appearance is little more than a cameo, but a careful viewing of the film does establish the presence of the future Academy Award-winning actress. The plot revolves around the eternal battle between ranchers and sheepmen. The nasty Blunt Vanier (Frank Gallagher) kills off some cattle and blames the encroaching sheep farmers. Martin Lethbridge (Edmund Cobb), the leader of the cattlemen, is in love with Alice Randall (Dolly Dale), daughter of his counterpart among the sheepherders. The unscrupulous machinations of Vanier, however, brings everyone together and peace is soon restored. The film's producer, Roy Langdon, a local Denver businessman, plays the supporting role of Dale's alcoholic brother, and minor parts are cast with family and friends. The film's director, Otis B. Thayer, nicknamed "Obie," enjoyed a long relationship with Colorado, having piloted a Selig Polyscope Company unit filming westerns on locations at Canon City in 1911.

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Keywords

cattle, herd [group], ranch, range, range-war, sheep