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As the studio home of John Ford, F. W. Murnau, Frank Borzage, and Raoul Walsh, Fox Film Corporation produced some of the most artistically advanced films of the silent era. And paying for those masterpieces, in very large order, was Tom Mix, the studio’s leading cowboy star and one of the most reliable box office draws of the era. Aimed at children and shown at weekend matinees, the Mix films were unadorned, white hat/black hat Westerns with no shades of Fordian ambivalence, as Mix’s gallant hero, almost dwarfed beneath his gigantic ten-gallon hat, tackles a range of evil bankers, corrupt landowners, and shady politicians. Here are two classic Mix adventures, restored from original nitrate prints held in MoMA’s vaults. Both films feature original music scores by Ben Model.
Organized by Dave Kehr, Curator, Department of Film.