The Texan (February 2, 1932)
Released on February 2, 1932: A cowboy running from the Sheriff enters a horse race in a small Texas town, but the Sheriff chasing him will start the race and possibly spoil the man's effort to help the little lady he likes.
Produced by William M. Pizor
Directed by Clifford Smith
The Actors: Jay Wilsey (Bill Rust), Lucile Browne (Mary Lou), Bobby Nelson (Bobby), Lafe McKee (Jim), Jack Mower (Buck Townsley), Art Mix (cowhand Art), Duke R. Lee (Sheriff), Harry Keaton (henchman Tony), Lew Meehan (townsman), Bud Pope (cowhand)
The Horse Race and the Sheriff
This early sound motion picture is a time capsule into the great American west and several of the pioneering cowboy characters. Neither the plot nor the direction of this story follows the standard cowboy movie formula, and it looks more like reality than a fictional story . . . Almost as if someone was taking home movies of the folk in a small 1932 Texas cow town. There isn’t any background music with the story, and there is very little gunplay, in fact, the only gun shots are from the Sheriff, and he never hits anyone, or even comes close.
Wilbert Jay Wilsey acted in movies from 1924-1936, and for a few cowboy movies like this one he used the name of Buffalo Bill Jr. in the credits instead of his birth name. Possibly the move studio wanted to add a bit of excitement by suggesting to the audience that the leading man was the son of a Western legend. In this story he is a wanted outlaw Bill Rust.
Lucile Browne, the one lady in the story, was a model, stage actress, and then movie actress, but her happiest times were spent as a department store clerk for the May Company, now Macy’s, in Westwood, California. In the same year that this movie was filmed, she met and married actor James Flavin, who usually played the part of a policeman in crime adventures. Lucile only acted in a few movies after the wedding, spending her time as a homemaker and of course, store clerk at the May Company. James Flavin passed in April of 1976, and Lucile died seventeen days later.
Lafe McKee, the white haired older fellow acted in movies from 1912 until 1958. As far as I know, he was never the leading character, but always an older, father or grandfather figure character actor, with almost 500 movies to his credit.
Buster Keaton was a famous silent screen comedian, and his little known brother Harry was a casting director and once in a while acted in a movie, but he never reached anything near star status like his older brother Buster. In this story Harry Keaton is henchman Tony, the fellow with the Italian accent.
This center of this movie is a horse race in a small Texas cow town that isn't much more than a few buildings along the trail through Texas. Our leading man will race another fellow for a big pile of the town’s money. I really don’t want to spoil the surprises along the way, so I won’t go much further than that, except to say that the leading man is wanted by the Sheriff of a nearby Texas county, and that Sheriff will be starting the big horse race, much to the chagrin of our leading man. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy a slice of a 1932 Texas cow town.
Duke R. Lee
Harry Keaton and Jack Mower
Harry Keaton and Lafe McKee
Jack Mower, Harry Keaton and Lafe McKee
Jack Mower and Jay Wilsey
Jack Mower, Lafe McKee and Harry Keaton
Jack Mower and Lafe McKee
Jay Wilsey, Jack Mower and Lafe McKee
Jay Wilsey, Lafe McKee and Jack Mower
Lucile Browne and Lafe McKee
Lucile Browne and Jay Wilsey