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The two-reel Harold Lloyd comedy An Eastern Westerner (1920) is a Western spoof in which the daredevil comic plays a rich, spoiled young New Yorker whose parents ship him off to his uncle's ranch in rootin'-tootin' Piute Pass to correct his high-living city ways. Harold soon has a confrontation with a lecherous bully called "Tiger Lip" Tompkins (Noah Young) who is trying to have his way with a virtuous young woman after locking up her sickly father.
It's Harold to the rescue as he saves the father, falls in love with the girl and does battle with a Western version of the Ku Klux Klan. The final chase has some classic Lloyd moments as Harold eludes his hooded assailants -- at one point hiding in a skirt that hangs from a clothesline.
The heroine is played by Mildred Davis, Lloyd's frequent leading lady, who would soon marry him and retire to raise their family. Lloyd would later say of producer/director Hal Roach, his most significant collaborator: "He wasn't actually a very good director. [But] he had fortitude, he had drive, and he had worlds of confidence... There was a sort of affinity between Hal and myself. He used to say, 'No matter what the scene is that I think up, Lloyd has the knack of putting it on the screen the way I visualize it.' Roach was very creative, he was a very good gagman, and he had great courage."
Producer/Director: Hal Roach
Screenplay: Frank Terry, H.M. Walker (titles)
Cinematography: Walter Lundin
Original Music: Robert Israel
Principal Cast: Harold Lloyd (The Boy), Mildred Davis (The Girl), Noah Young (Tompkins, the Bully).
by Roger Fristoe