Dangerous Traffic (1926)
This silent gangster film plays like a B-Western and was actually made by specialists of that genre. There is even a thrilling transfer stunt where young Francis X. Bushman, Jr. (or his stunt double) switches from speeding motorcycle to runaway automobile much like a Western hero would from horse to carriage. Bushman plays a small-town cub reporter who comes to the assistance of a couple of revenue agents (Jack Perrin and Hal Walters) tracking a gang of hi-jackers. Half-way through, unfortunately, the story moves indoors to a swank hotel and the film begins to drag a bit, its makers obviously out of their natural element. Western villains Ethan Laidlaw and Tom London are the leaders of the gang, while Mildred Harris, the first Mrs. Charles Chaplin, does the ingenue bit as the sister of one of the agents. The son of the matinee-idol, Francis X. Bushman, Jr. later worked under his real name, Ralph Bushman. The penultimate entry in a series of eight crime melodramas, Dangerous Traffic was produced independently by Otto K. Streyer for release by poverty row company Goodwill. … More
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