'Trailin' Trouble' (1930) - *Silent version followed by sound version*

Sunday, January 20, 2013
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, UCLA Hammer Museum - Billy Wilder Theater

Silent/Sync/Sound: Multiple Versions from the Transition Era

See below for additional information.


General: $9.00; non-UCLA Students, seniors, UCLA Alumni Association members (ID required): $8.00; UCLA students (current ID required): free.


UCLA Film & Television Archive
(310) 206-8588



Additional Information

'Trailin' Trouble' (1930) directed by Arthur Rosson: A former rodeo star, Hoot Gibson was one of the silent era’s most successful screen cowboys, alongside Tom Mix. Gibson’s career was rockier in the sound era but he weathered the transition at Universal where he starred in eight sound features between 1929 and 1930, six of which were released with dual silent and sound versions, including 'Trailin' Trouble' (1930).

Gibson plays Ed King, a cocksure ranch hand with a wandering eye, much to the chagrin of Molly (Quimby), his long-suffering would-be gal. When he’s sent to the big city to sell a herd of cattle, Ed gets a chance to prove his loyalty to Molly while his romantic rival, Buck (Morrison), plots to ruin him once and for all. Before he knows it, Ed’s up to his neck in a gang war in Chinatown.

The visual and narrative differences between the two versions are minor but nevertheless the silent version comes off as more polished and precise.

As Variety noted in its review of the sound version of 'Trailin' Trouble': “Western producers have got to realize that where they could hold meanderings of this kind together in the silent days with subtitles, dialog provides no such elasticity. Either it’s there, or not there, with talk.”

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