Picture of author.

William S. Hart (1864–1946)

Autor(a) de My Life East and West

7+ Works 75 Membros 3 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: William Surrey Hart

Disambiguation Notice:

(eng) Full name: William Surrey Hart

Image credit: 1918 photograph (LoC Prints and Photographs, LC-USZ62-103842)

Obras de William S. Hart

Associated Works

Tumbleweeds [1925 film] (1925) — Actor — 3 cópias
Wagon Tracks [1919 film] (1919) — Actor — 2 cópias
Hell's Hinges [1916 film] (1916) — Actor — 2 cópias
The Great Chase [1962 Documentary film] (1962) — Actor — 2 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

Nome padrão
Hart, William S.
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Locais de residência
Newburgh, New York, USA (birthplace)
Newhall, California, USA
film director
Aviso de desambiguação
Full name: William Surrey Hart



William S. Hart was a major silent movie cowboy star, one of the first "greats" in the genre, and he was also the real deal. As this autobiography emphasizes, he grew in the northern midwest. His family was dirt poor, his mother in bad health, his father doggedly pursuing work in constructing and maintaining flour mills--"white gold"--with the hope of having one of his own. Hart's playmates were usually Sioux children. From them he learned the language and how to hand talk. By his late teens, his interest turned to acting. He knew he was unsophisticated, so he made an active effort to learn how to handle society and craft. He starved and scraped by in theater for years, supporting his mother and sisters as he could. When he saw a cowboy movie for the first time, he was horrified by the inaccuracies. He set out to correct them himself.

The portions on his movie career are definitely the most fascinating in the book. Hart did his own stunts, and wow, did he gets banged up. He put his horse Fritz (and other mounts) through hell as well, but he certainly asked no less of them than he did of himself. Where the book falters is in increasing sections near the end where he goes into exhaustive detail about how studio executives jerked him around in terms of money and contracts, and then repeated issues of women accusing him of having children in need of support. Those sections feel... awkward, striking a petulant mood in contrast to the more pleasant tone of the rest of the book. I can see why he wanted space to defend himself, but the way it's done was not that effective. In the case where the woman was proven to be mentally imbalanced (her impregnation was done in the spiritual realm) it felt exploitative, even triumphant.

Hart is a complex fellow. He casts himself as the hero--and his movies likewise tended toward a Victorian, moralistic tone--but he's still a man of the time. He uses the word "squaw" and forwardly acknowledges it is a derogatory term (note this was originally published in something like the late 1920s). He rode horses in a ruthless way, and took care of them lovingly, and in dying, left a large sum of money to the SPCA. He loved and championed for Native Americans, often casting them in his pictures and regarding them as lifelong friends, and also played them at times (one photograph looks as if he's in brown face make-up) and had a major role in the Battle of Little Big Horn 50th anniversary ceremony. Then there were all of the paternity cases that came up against him.

This particular edition of the book was published in 1994 by a printing company that apparently selects a classic book to revive each year as a gift to employees and shareholders. It IS a beautiful book. The print and paper quality are exceptional, and the photographs reproduced throughout are in a lovely tint.
… (mais)
ladycato | outras 2 resenhas | May 16, 2019 |
This is the 91st in the Lakeside Press series;
robwilson | outras 2 resenhas | Mar 8, 2007 |

You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
½ 3.3

Tabelas & Gráficos