AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Desperate Trails
Alternate Title: Christmas Eve at Pilot Butte
Director: Jack Ford (Dir)
Release Date:   Jun 1921
Duration (in feet):   4,577
Duration (in reels):   5
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Cast:   Harry Carey (Bart Carson)  
    Irene Rich (Mrs. Walker)  
    Georgie Stone (Dannie Boy)  
    Helen Field (Carrie)  
    Edward Coxen (Walter A. Walker)  
    Barbara La Marr (Lady Lou)  
    George Siegmann (Sheriff Price)  
    Charles E. Insley (Doc Higgins)  

Summary: Bart Carson believes himself to be in love with Lady Lou and is persuaded by her to assume the guilt for her "brother," who has deserted his wife and children and robbed the train. In prison Bart learns that the "brother," Walker, is actually Lou's lover, and he escapes to kill him, then goes to the Walker home on Christmas Eve. So that Mrs. Walker will receive the reward, he gives himself up as the prisoner of her young son, but the sheriff informs him that Lou has confessed her perfidy and that justice will prevail. 

Production Company: Universal Film Manufacturing Co.  
Director: Jack Ford (Dir)
Producer: Carl Laemmle (Pres)
Writer: Elliott J. Clawson (Scen)
Photography: Harry Fowler (Dir of photog)
  Robert De Grasse (Dir of photog)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the short story "Christmas Eve at Pilot Butte," by Courtney Ryley Cooper in Redbook (Jan 1921).
Authors: Courtney Ryley Cooper

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Universal Film Manufacturing Co. 11/6/1921 dd/mm/yyyy LP16667

Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Western
Subjects (Major): Christmas
  Prison escapees

Note: The working title of this film was Christmas Eve at Pilot Butte. 

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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