Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Tom Mix, one of the first great western stars, plays government agent Grant Newbury in this 1922 silent which the movie posters called "a hurricane of thrills, action, and excitement."  Mix is sent to investigate and stop a gang that is smuggling Chinese illegals from across the Mexican border.  There's a girl (Estelle Halloway, played by Eva Novak) to add a bit of romance to the Mix (please note the clever pun there; gosh, I'm clever!), and to add a dash of angst-y complication, she's the ward of the big baddie.  But the film is mainly about the adventure, the stunts, and the locale.  Filmed in the Grand Canyon, Sky High features the first aerial footage eve of the canyon.

Tom Mix, of course, was a real cowboy.  During one scene his horse takes a nasty (and unintentional) fall.  Undetered, Mix gets up, mounts the horse, and continues his chase.  No cuts -- just one continuous take.  We also see that Mix knows his lassos almost as well as he knows his horses.
I have to admit the plot isn't much but the action, the scenery, and Tom Mix as a straight as a rail contemporary cowboy add up to make this a worthwhile use of your 49 minutes, evern if the 94 year old footage is a tad grainy and washed.


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