Works by William S. Hart (3)

The Taking Of Luke McVane/The Fugitive

Luke McVane is some geek that moves so slow you wonder what kind of “horse” this cowboy is really on. Wearing his virginity on his sleeve, he goes starry-eyed over the town floozy when she hoochie coochies for a bar full of drunken cowboys. When Greaser Garcia takes her as private property, Luke remembers Broncho Billy And The Greaser and jumps at his chance to score nookie points. But, unlike Broncho Billy, this square flips his roscoe once too often, so the town figures the strange mad dog needs to be put down, and he ends up a lamster. Suddenly the nerd's looking less hero, more antihero - and this sleepy little flick turns out to be better than expected.

Knight Of The Trail

“Knight” must be defined broadly here, as Hart again plays a good-hearted outlaw - in a film of not much interest.

The Aryan/La fiera domada

The title raised the excited hope of going beyond the usual stereotyping and slurs, instead delivering an explicit exposition of racial ideology - taking Birth Of A Nation out west. Unfortunately, this is just a reconstruction of a film previously considered lost. The original may have been more directly concerned with racial ideology, but here Cowboy's main conflict is with women: Cowboy's massively Madonna–whore complexed. This is immediately suggested in the very first scene, where Cowboy's sacred love for his distant mother is juxtaposed with images of him petting and kissing his bestial companion. Then after he deludes himself that a sleazy mining camp on the border is his ideal “town inhabited by men of iron heart”, and that his mother would love a girl he met in a bar there, he is of course vamped. But instead of dumping her, he takes her as his partner he loves to hate as he does a No-More-Mister-Nice-Guy. Finally, he meets The Virgin Mary Jane and he again falls to his delusions as she cons him into believing his White Man's Duty is to give away his riches. He leaves behind his whore to return to his Brotherhood and replay the Heroic Defender role that first got him vamped, before riding off in the sunset to seek his next imagined Madonna to transform into an imagined whore. So goes the life of an iron-hearted Aryan.