High Pockets

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This “slightly wounded” cowboy feature was made in 1919.  When the studio closed in 1922, a studio worker rescued the negatives for this and another Bennison cowboy feature from oblivion by removing them to his home. They were subsequently forgotten until 1992 when the family made them available to the Betzwood Archive. That anything survives of these films is truly remarkable. The original foreign release negatives, still in their original packing crates, had suffered some damage due to nitrate decomposition, but were mostly intact. Though most of the first two reels of this film were lost, the bulk of the story and the exciting conclusion survived. A special arrangement between the Betzwood Film Archive and the Museum of Modern Art Film Study Center made possible the cleaning, preservation, and copying of these films onto safety stock. The story line of the first two reels was restored in 1997 by Rusty Casselton of Minnesota, utilizing a number of production stills from the film.

Here’s a film that has everything—drugs, murder, robbery, ghosts, romance, deceit, greed, revenge, and comedy. And that’s just in the three reels that survive!

Betzwood Fim Company, 1919.  Directed by Ira M. Lowry. Starring Louis Bennison, Katherine MacDonald, Edward Roseman, and Andrew Bennison.

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