Each Monday, I continue to share Western movie reviews. I have now launched a podcast about the making of Westerns and the overall filmmaking process. Click here to listen.


Week 188: The Return of Draw Egan (1916)


Reading a book about the early history of the Western genre, I realized that I needed to see more of the pioneering work of filmmakers like William S. Hart.

The Return of Draw Egan begins with an exhilirating chase scene. It’s astonishing how the film starts and doesn’t let up for several minutes as Hart and his gang flee a posse, hold up in a house, and manage to escape. Nothing in the film reaches that level of intensity and entertainment afteward. That’s not to say that what follows isn’t good. It’s a sturdy Western story with a good Hart performance at its center but it’s hard to watch the rest of the picture without wanting it to reach the height of its opening again.

A final duel in the streets does satisfy and play well with mood instead of action. And the overall feel of the movie is gritty, an authentically portrayed Old West from director and star Hart. I look forward to studying more of his pictures.

Watched on YouTube