Tom's Gang (1927)

Genres - Western  |  
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The "Tom" of the title in this fine silent Western produced by Joseph P. Kennedy was strapping Tom Tyler, a New Yorker who found a niche in no-nonsense Western melodramas of the late silent era. Tyler, however, doesn't play a character named "Tom" at all this time around, but instead portrays Dave Collins, a young man who is bequeathed a ranch on the condition that he marry the late owner's granddaughter Lucille (Sharon Lynn, later Sharon Lynne). But when he arrives at the ranch with young sidekick Spuds (Frankie Darro, later Frankie Darrow) in tow, Dave finds that a distant relative of Lucille's, Ray Foster (Barney Furey), has taken his place. Foster hires tough Bart Haywood (Harry Woods) to kill his rival, and soon our hero is hogtied to a handcar in the path of an approaching train. Spuds and his faithful dog Sitting Bull (Beans) manage to save their friend, and Dave returns to the ranch just in time to save Lucille from a shotgun marriage to the devious Foster. Kennedy, the future presidential father, was more interested in furthering the career of Gloria Swanson than paying attention to his lucrative Western unit, which was disbanded in 1929.