Lightning Bryce (1919)

Genres - Western  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein

Produced by Universal and released in 15 installments, this Western serial made a star of former rodeo rider Jack Hoxie. Contrary to some reports, however, the chapterplay was not Hoxie's first lead. He had worked in films for years, often obscure two-reel Westerns with director/actor James Young Deer. As Hoxie himself put it, "I played the lead, the heavy, the sheriff, or any part, but they were not Jack Hoxie pictures." Lightning Bryce, in which he co-starred with the vibrant Ann Little, was just that, a Jack Hoxie serial and one of the best Westerns of the early silent era. Hoxie and Little go in search of an ancient treasure, the location of which is inscribed on a knife. There is a villain, of course (Paul Hurst, who also directed), and a mystery lady (Jill Woodward), who always seems to be around to save Lightning and Ann from whatever danger they've gotten themselves into. Hoxie was badly injured when a trained wolf he was supposed to be wrestling became a bit too enthusiastic. The serial was produced by Poverty Row regular Benjamin F. Wilson, who changed Hoxie's first name from Hart(ford) to Jack.