The Outlaw Breaker (1926)

Genres - Western  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Produced, co-written (with director Jacques Jaccard), and starring stunt man Yakima Canutt, the surviving The Outlaw Breaker tells the old story of the animosity between the original cattle ranchers and encroaching sheep farmers. Having lost his father and brother to the struggle, young cattle rancher Yak Darnell (Canutt) promises his long-suffering mother (Florence Lee) that he no longer will carry a gun. Yak's resolve, however, is sorely tested by the sheepmen, whose leader, Allenby (Dick La Reno), is also the father of Yak's girlfriend Wanda (Alma Rayford). As it turns out, Allenby is actually only pretending to side with the sheepmen because he is indebted to sleazy lawyer Jim Kinkaid (Harry Northrup, whose name is misspelled in the film's opening credits). About to confess, Allenby is shot by Kinkaid. The lawyer, however, points the finger at Yak and demands that the marshal arrest the young man for attempted murder. Meanwhile back at the Darnell rancho, Yak's mother is suffering a heart attack and only Yak's presence can save the old woman. With the assistance of scruffy sidekick Calamity (Nelson McDowell) and a swarm of bees, Yak manages to reach his mother's bedside in time. Returning to the town, Yak is exonerated by a recovered Allenby and in a humorous ending, Kinkaid and his henchmen are forced out of town on their hands and knees, baa-ing like sheep. Better photographed (by Harry McGuire) than most low-budget silent oaters and containing a fair share of exiting Canutt stunts, The Outlaw Breaker was distributed by Goodwill, a minor Gower Gulch company whose logo was a sketched handshake.