Friday, 20 March 2015

Wild West Photo Friday: Real Outlaws in Western Movies


This dusty gunman is Al Jennings, a lawyer from Oklahoma who became a bandit in the 1890s. He had a brief career of robbing banks and stores before getting injured in a shootout with the law and sent to prison. When he got out, he went back to being a lawyer and even ran for governor of Oklahoma!

When his political career didn't pan out, he decided to make movies where he played himself. Westerns had become a popular genre in the early silent films and he wasn't the only real-life bandit to sully the silver screen. You can read more in my post for Black Gate about Wild West Outlaws in Silent Film.

This image is a still from the film The Lady of the Dugout (1918) and is in the public domain.

4 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

He played himself - how wild. And from lawyer to bandit to lawyer again is quite the 360.

Sapper Joe said...

Hello! Great minds think alike...well, maybe I just sort of an odd lucky entry on my blog. I posted an entry a little over a week ago about Emmett Dalton & Henry Starr as Wild West bank robbers and being movie stars too.

http://sapperjoeswargamingtoys.blogspot.com/2015/03/emmett-dalton-henry-starrbank-robbers.html

Cheers,

Joe

Sean McLachlan said...

Cool post, Joe, thanks for sharing!

Sapper Joe said...

Hello, Sean

I am placing my reply to your question on my blog here as well, just in case. I am only aware of some movie still / lobby cards for the movie to still to exist. See the link below:

http://www.moviestillsdb.com/movies/a-debtor-to-the-law-i10059

Cheers

Joe

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.