The Making of Broncho Billy (1913)

Genres - Western  |  
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The first cowboy star, Gilbert M. "Bronco Billy" Anderson plays a dude out West in this historically important early silent Western produced by Anderson in late 1912 in the Northern California town of Niles. Anderson had left Chicago in 1908 and, filming along the way, settled in picturesque Niles where he was to produce and star in a lengthy series of 1- and 2-reel Westerns featuring pulp-writer Peter B. Kyne's good-bad man "Bronco Billy." We witness the origins of "Bronco" in this film. Anderson is ridiculed by the locals when he enters a saloon. He doesn't drink (the bartender is forced to dust off an old bottle of sarsaparilla), doesn't smoke and refuses to gamble. When told "We don't fight with fists out West, so go get yourself a gun," an angry Anderson does just that and is soon a crack shot. Having thus taught himself the way of the West, "Bronco Billy" returns to the saloon and shoots one of his tormentors in the arm. About to be chased down by the posse, the novice gun-man gives himself up to the sheriff (Harry Todd). The posse turns into a lynching party, but in an abrupt about-face, "Bronco Billy" is rescued by the very same man he shot. "I reckon I was wrong," the wounded cowboy says (via an inter-title). "Will you shake our hands?" "Bronco Billy" regular Fred Church, later a cowboy star in his own right under the name Montana Bill, is visible as one of the cowboys.



cowboy, fight, posse, saloon, sheriff, west