CastTom Mix (Texas), Goldie Colwell (Moya Dalton), Louella Maxam (Tex's Sister), Ed Brady (John Hargrave) Release dateMarch 2, 1915 (1915-03-02) WriterDonald I. Buchanan (titles) GenresWestern, Silent film, Short Film, Indie film, Black-and-white Similar moviesTom Mix directed The Man from Texas and appears in The Heart of Texas Ryan
The Man from Texas is a 1915 American Western film, directed by and starring Tom Mix.
The film is considered to be lost. It was shot near Prescott, Arizona by William Selig of the Selig Polyscope Company.
Around 1983 this lost Tom Mix film was found at a rummage sale by a retired armed forces veteran in Madison, Wisconsin. The man had been, amongst other duties, a projectionist for the camp where he was stationed during World War II. He knew and had seen all the films offered at the rummage sale except for the Tom Mix title. After purchasing the 35 mm reels of film for about ten dollars he soon began to contact collectors and film organizations to acquire information about the film. He soon found out he had a lost film. He offered the film for sale to collectors. Most film collectors collect to film to view them and are not knowledgeable in film restoration. The film went unsold. After offering it for sale on a film periodical named "Classic Images" it was purchased for $1,000 in 1984 by Dr. Oscar Salas of Coral Gables, Florida. Dr. Salas, a lawyer in both Florida and Texas put his son William, a film buff, collector and preservationist, to carefully restore the silent film.
The film print was composed of cellulose nitrate, a highly combustible film stock. The print was color tinted in sepia, blue, and other colors. Upon beginning the restoration William noticed that the film was longer than the original 1915 version. The print was 34 minutes and the title read "Aywon Film Corporation". The original Selig version of "The Man from Texas" was about a 15-minute one reel film. It is well known that William Selig Polyscope films were mostly shot in one day in and around Prescott, Arizona using the same cast of characters. The Selig studio in Prescott was called the Diamond "S" Ranch. This fictitious "ranch" used the "S" for Selig as a trademark and had a diamond shaped border around the initial.
It turned out that this film was a 1920s re-release and was an edited version that included extra scenes from other Selig films. The re-release distributor in the 1920s used their company name in the opening credits and title. It read; Tom Mix, "The Man From Texas" Awon Film Corporation. It seems this silent film was elongated to appeal to film distributors in the 1920s. The cast of the Tom Mix William Selig films were almost always Tom Mix, Sid Jordan, and Old Blue (Tom's on screen horse until 1919) along with the Selig contracted players. William Salas completed the initial film cleaning and sprocket hole reparation. Then he transferred the nitrate film to video at a local studio using a flatbed Telecine. The film was then shipped to Hollywood, California. There further restoration was done by Morecraft / Thunderbird Films. The Salas family hired a silent film organist named Robert Israel to record an original pipe organ score for the film. The pipe organ score was recorded in an old silent film theater in Hollywood, California that had a permanent pipe organ built into the building.
After completion of the final restoration and soundtrack it was then transferred by Morecraft Films (AKA Thunderbird Films) to 16mm optical sound, 8 mm magnetic sound film, and U-maic video. The professional video version was transferred to VHS and Beta with CVT (Cine Video Tech) professional equipment. The film was released by Film, Sound & Video of Coral Gables, Fla. The "lost film" premiere was held at a DuBois, Pennsylvania silent era movie theater during the Annual Tom Mix Festival in 1985. The Salas family then donated the original 35 mm silver nitrate film print to the American Film Institute in Washington, D.C. The Salas family donated in 2001 another lost Tom Mix film, "The Sheriff and the Rustler", a 1913 one reel film. Both film are registered under the William Salas collection at the American Film Institute and are available for viewing by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
The 1920s elongated 34 minute version may not contain any original footage from the original 1915 version. Further research on the original script and story line will be needed to know if there are any similarities to the 1926 re-release. The 1926 version has footage that may be one of the earliest appearances of Hoot Gibson. Still because of lack of documentation it is not known exactly when any of the footage was shot.