Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott | Co-presented by the Chicago Film Society
The popular Western actor-director William S. Hart was releasing films at such a gallop—1918 saw eight features and a half-reel short for the Liberty Loan Campaign in which Hart took a six-gun to the Kaiser—that studio marketers understandably emphasized novelty whenever possible. Hence BRANDING BROADWAY, the story of a Western rabble-rouser run out of Arizona on a rail and deposited in Manhattan to play bodyguard for a rich kid, was advertised as a gawky new opportunity to "See Bill Hart in Evening Clothes." This proto-COOGAN'S BLUFF finds time for unlikely romance, physical comedy and a few saloon dust-ups, and remains a Hart film through-and-through.
35mm courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art