The Desert Flower (1925)

Genres - Drama, Western  |  
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Proving once and for all that Western filmmaking was treacherous work even for the greatest of stars, Colleen Moore broke her neck in a fall from a moving handcar during the making of this rousing sagebrush melodrama. The pert Moore, an idol of her generation, quickly regained her mobility but was reportedly forced to sleep in a leather neck support for nearly ten years. She had insisted on a departure from her usual flapper roles and screenwriter June Mathis had crafted this quaint melodrama of a mining camp girl who reforms a young derelict addicted to drink (Lloyd Hughes). Escaping her violent stepfather Mike Dyer (Frank Brownlee), Maggie Fortune (Moore) takes up residence in the rough mining town of Bullfrog. She falls in love with handsome Rance Conway (Hughes) and he with her, but Rance can't keep away from the bottle. While Conway is away grubstaking, Dyer turns up in Bullfrog, only to be killed by an unknown assailant. When both Rance and Maggie confess to the killing, a confused sheriff files the death away as a suicide. Revealed to be a wealthy young scion, a sober Rance proposes marriage, and Maggie accepts. A blandly handsome leading man from Arizona, dark-haired Lloyd Hughes was at his best when playing opposite strong female stars such as Mary Pickford (The of the Storm Country, 1922), Moore (five films including this one), and Mary Astor (eight times). His sound films were mostly in the "B" category.

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Keywords

survivor, father, honor [recognition], love, orphan, reform [improve], sister, toddlers, youth