The Better Man Wins (1922)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Traditional Western  |  
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French-born director Marcel Perez directed this obscure, but surviving, silent western in which a cowboy (Pete Morrison) falls for a sophisticated femme fatale (Gene Crosby). Morrison's Bill Harrison is committed to Nell, the rancher's daughter (Dorothy Woods), when a road accident brings travelling nightclub owner Dick Murray (Jack Walters) and his kept girlfriend (Crosby) into their lives. The handsomely dressed woman makes a play for the cowboy and, having recuperated from a broken leg, manages to lure him to her lair in Chicago. Having lost the farm after her father's (E.L. Van Sickle) death, the naive Nell is persuaded by the smooth-talking Murray to appear at his Chicago nitery. She almost suffers a fate worse than death, but is saved in the nick of time by Bill, who has had enough of life as a lounge lizard. Slightly more sophisticated in approach than most independent westerns of the era, The Better Man Wins is consistently entertaining and includes a quite realistic automobile wreck. The site of the burly, ill-at-ease Morrison in top hat and tails crashing a nightclub on horseback is another of the film's memorable moments.

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Keywords

accident, cowboy, damsel-in-distress, daughter, femme-fatale, girlfriend, homestead, love, love-triangle, ranch, rescue, romance