Two reel comedy. Copyright, Feb. 20, 1918, Famous Players-Lasky Corp. copyright claimant. Comique Film Corp. Paramount-Arbuckle Comedy No. A-3108. Released, Jan. 20, 1918, by Paramount Pictures. Director/Writer: Roscoe Arbuckle. Scene Editor: Herbert Warren. Scenarist: Natalie Talmadge. Cameraman: George Peters. Cast: Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John, Alice Lake.
Commentary: Staged largely at Signal Hill, where a typical western town “Mad Dog Gulch” was built for the purpose. According to Frame-up, this production was filmed in the San Gabriel Canyon, not Signal Hill (296).
Al St. John was the bad man in this picture and “Fatty” a champion bartender from Kansas. One of the scenes has Roscoe riding into a thirst-quenching emporium on a horse.The steed itself imbibes freely of the alcoholic beverage and exists in advanced stages of intoxication.The opening scenes of the picture were made in the desert, Fatty having been thrown off a train in the midst of a vast sandy plain, according to the story (Daily Telegram, Jan. 23, 1918, 9: 2).
Summary: The Complete Films of Buster Keaton describes the film opening in an old Western saloon. Dressed in a long, black coat and stovepipe hat, Buster plays a dude gambler who casually shoots a cheating cardsharp, then rolling the body through a trapdoor in the saloon floor. The scene then shifts to Roscoe riding in the water car of a speeding train. After several high jinks on the train, Roscoe ends up stranded in the desert where he is chased by hostile Indians. Chased by Indians, Roscoe makes a spectacular entrance into town and rolls into the saloon in time to interrupt a robbery by the ruthless Wild Bill Hiccup (Al St. John). During the mêlée, the bartender is killed.
After Buster disposes of the body, Roscoe becomes the new bartender. Wild Bill gets fresh with Salvation Army representative, Alice Lake, when she asks him for a donation; Roscoe tries to subdue him by various means, succeeding at last to tickle him into submission with a feather (41) (Drawn from Balboa Films 241).
Poster and Cartoon: