This silent Western is one of John Ford’s earliest films as a director. After following his older brother to Hollywood to work as a prop man, Ford began helming low-budget pictures for Universal. The orange-tinted Bucking Broadway is one such example. It sees Western star Harry Carey return as Cheyenne Harry, a Wyoming cowpoke in love with the ranch owner’s daughter (Molly Malone). He asks for her hand, but a scoundrel from New York City! (see: Pace “Picante” commercials) steals her from Harry’s matrimonial lasso. Before long, she realizes the situation is bad shakes, puts out a distress signal, and Harry races to her rescue.
When you take away the name “John Ford,” Bucking Broadway is still a solid, energetic, if conventional Western. There’s the comedy of seeing Cheyenne Harry, with his ten gallon hat and saddle, check into a posh New York hotel. There’s a big brawl between cowboys and city slickers. And there a couple daring stunts, including a horse-to-train jump that immediately precedes the Searchers-esque still seen above. But really, Bucking Broadway is important because, of all 25 films Ford made with Carey, it’s only one of two (the other being Straight Shooting) that survives from this period in the director’s career. Found in the Archives Francaises du Film in 2002, the mislabeled, heavily-dyed reels that contained Bucking Broadway were carefully restored and put online for your enjoyment.