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This year’s theme – The Thrill of it ALL! – captures the experience of film making for many Lone Pine and Alabama Hills fans. For over 30 years, the guided, “On Location” movie site tours, have been, and continue to be one of the most exciting options for those attending the annual Film Festival taking our audience to the actual locations where their favorite westerns were filmed.

In 1939, William S. Hart, the great pioneer cowboy silent film star, upon his re-release his classic 1925 Western “Tumbleweeds” with added music, sound effects and an emotional prologue “Goodbye” to film making said… “My friends, I love the art of making motion pictures. It is as the breath of life to me…. The rush of the wind that cuts your face, the pounding hoofs of the pursuing posse, out there in front a fallen tree trunk that spans a yawning canyon, the old animal under you that takes it in the same low ground-eating gallop, the harmless shots of the baffled ones that remain behind, and then, the clouds of dust, through which come the faint voice of the director (cupping hand to mouth) ‘Okay, Bill, okay, glad you made it, great stuff,…. Bill, great stuff, and say, Bill, give ol’ Fritz a pat on the nose for me, will ya?’ Oh, The Thrill of It All.  (To read the entire quote – click here.)

Lets Explore William S. Hart’  history with film…

William Surrey Hart (December 6, 1864 – June 23, 1946) was an American silent film actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He is remembered as a foremost Western star of the silent era who “imbued all of his characters with honor and integrity.” During the late 1910s and early 1920s, he was one of the most consistently popular movie stars, frequently ranking high among male actors in popularity contests held by movie fan magazines.

ADDITIONAL Links & Notes

William S. Hart Filmography
Made first film in 1914 and last in 1928

William S. Hart IMDB
Hart made 74 films as an actor, directed 52 films and produced 26.

The film below (Restoring the Films of William S. Hart) was presented at the 2022 San Francisco Silent Film Festival
Join George Eastman Museum Senior Curator Peter Bagrov and Preservation Manager Anthony L’Abbate to learn about the museum’s ongoing restoration of the works of everyone’s favorite cowboy, William S. Hart.

William S. Hart – “Goodbye”
Famous silent film star William S. Hart says goodbye to the career he loved in this heartfelt prologue to the re-release of his 1925 film, Tumbleweeds. The clip was filmed  at Hart’s Horseshoe Ranch in 1939.