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Tumbleweeds (1925 film)

Tumbleweeds (1925 film)Tumbleweeds is a 1925 American Western film starring and produced by William S. Hart. It depicts the Cherokee Strip land rush of 1893. The 1939 Astor Pictures' re-release of Tumbleweeds includes an 8-minute introduction by the then 75 year old Hart as he talks about his career and the "glories of the old west." Tumbleweeds was Hart's last movie.

In the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma during the 1880's and early 1890's, the government lands that were leased to cattlemen were opened to settlement by homesteaders. To allow a fair chance for everyone, the prospective homesteaders were required to register and registrants were prohibited from entering into the Strip before the appointed time.

Those who tried to get there beforehand were called "Sooners". Hence the nickname of Oklahoma is the Sooner State. When a cannon shot signaled the start of the land rush, a hundred thousand men and women tried to stake their claims.

Set in Caldwell, Kansas on the Kansas-Oklahoma border, the movie features cowboy Don Carver (Hart) as a "tumbleweed" (i.e., a drifter) who decides to settle down after falling in love with Molly Lassiter (Barbara Bedford). Carver decides to get in on the Cherokee Strip land rush but when he's arrested and parted from his new love, he's in danger of missing the big race. Lucien Littlefield plays a strong supporting role in the movie as Hart's comic sidekick and best friend.

Hart's last movie
Tumbleweeds was Hart's last movie. In 1939, Astor Pictures re-released the film and provided an eight-minute introduction that would be Hart's last appearance on film. In this introduction, he states:

[My friends, I loved 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 hooves of the pursuing posse, and then the clouds of dust! Through the cloud of dust comes the faint voice of the director, "Now, Bill, OK! Glad you made it! Great stuff, Bill, great stuff! And, say, Bill! Give old Fritz a pat on the nose for me, will ya?" The saddle is empty, the boys up ahead are calling, they're waiting for you and me to help drive this last great round-up into eternity."]

Hart retired to his ranch in Newhall, California and although producers continued to offer him roles in sound films, he refused to return to the screen.

Film Facts

  • Release date(s) December 20, 1925
  • Running time 78 minutes

Directed by
King Baggot (as King Baggott)
William S. Hart (uncredited)

Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hal G. Evarts - story
C. Gardner Sullivan - adaptation


William S. Hart   Don Carver
Barbara Bedford   Molly Lassiter
Lucien Littlefield ... Kentucky Rose
J. Gordon Russell ... Noll Lassiter
Richard Neill ... Bill Freel (as Richard R. Niell)
Jack Murphy ... Bart Lassiter
James Gordon ... Joe Hinman
George F. Marion ... Old man (as George Marion)
Gertrude Claire ... Old woman
Lillian Leighton ... Widow Riley
Nino Cochise ... Indian (uncredited)
Monte Collins ... Hicks (uncredited)
Ted Duncan ... Cavalry Major (uncredited)
Fred Gamble ... Hotel Proprietor (uncredited)
Al Hoxie ... (uncredited)
Apache Bill Russell ... (uncredited)
Turner Savage ... Riley Boy (uncredited)
Charles Stevens ... Indian (uncredited)

More History

History of Western Films & TV
Western Stars
TV Westerns

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