~Desperate Trails~
Directed by: John Ford

Written by: Elliott J. Clawson

Based on the story "Christmas Eve at Pilot Butte," by Courtney Ryley

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 Inslee ... Doc Higgins (as Charles E. Insley)
Harry Carey Jr. ... Young Baby (uncredited)
~Remaining Credits~

Produced & Released by: Universal Film Manufacturing Company

Cinematography by: Robert De Grasse & Harry M. Fowler
Carl Laemmle

Length: 5 Reels
Runtime: 50 Minutes
Released: June 1921
~Plot Synopsis~
Based on a serialized novel by Courtney Riley Cooper, Christmas Eve at Pilot Butte, this sentimental
silent Western was one of 26 collaborations between director John Ford (still known as "Jack Ford")
and veteran stage actor Harry Carey. Drifter Bart Carson (Carey) becomes so infatuated with the
beautiful but treacherous Lady Lou (Barbara La Marr) that he is easily persuaded to assume
responsibility for a crime actually committed by the lady's brother, Walker (Edward Coxen). In
prison, Bart learns that Walker is not Lady Lou's brother at all, but her lover. Escaping from prison
on Christmas Eve, a furious Carson heads straight to Walker's home -- only to find the man's wife
(Lillian Rich) and teenage son (Georgie Stone, later George E. Stone) alone and abandoned. Taking
pity on the woman, Bart gives himself up to the sheriff so she may claim the reward. Happily, Lady
Lou has confessed her perfidy, and Bart is once again a free man. Shortly after making Desperate
Trails, Ford and Carey had a falling out, and the director transferred to the Hoot Gibson unit. Ford,
however, never forgot the veteran star, and Three Godfathers (1948), which co-starred Harry Carey,
Jr., was dedicated to his memory.

Plot Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein, AllMovie.com