The Devil Horse (1926)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 65 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Everyone who ever worked with Rex, King of Wild Horses has testified that the magnificent-looking animal was one of the meanest and most contentious "stars" in the movies. Nonetheless, producer Hal Roach knew a valuable commodity when he saw one, thus he cast Rex in such tailor-made vehicles as The Devil Horse. The story begins in 1874, when a community of Montana settlers is wiped out by Indians. Only two residents survives: little Dave Carson (played by Fred Jackman Jr., son of the film's director) and a colt, who is captured by the Indians and subjected to the most hideous of tortures as the boy looks on helplessly. Years later, the adult Dave Carson (now played by Yakima Canutt) is an army scout, motivated by his pathological hatred for all Indians. Equally disdainful of Native Americans is the grown-up colt, now a rogue stallion (played by Rex, of course) known and feared by the local tribes as "The Devil Horse." As Dave works out his hostilities in the thick of battle, the Devil Horse wreaks vengeance by seeking out hapless Indians and trampling them to death (how the horse is able to differentiate humans by race is anybody's guess!) Though admittedly exciting and beautifully photographed (one of the camera operators was George Stevens), The Devil Horse is difficult to watch today because of its openly hostile racism; at the time of its release, however, it was a huge hit, prompting Hal Roach to build an entire series around the contentious Rex.

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Keywords

horse, injury, injustice, massacre, Native-American, racism, revenge, survivor, torture