Tom Mix

Cowboy of the Roaring ’20s

Jan 12–26, 2023


Outlaws of Red River. 1927. USA. Directed by Lewis Seiler. The Museum of Modern Art Film Stills Archive

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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.

  • This film series is part of Virtual Cinema.
  • Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

    Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, and Karen and Gary Winnick.


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