LanguageSilent (English intertitles) Release dateOctober 1, 1917 (1917-10-01) WriterJohn Ford (scenario), George Hively (story) GenresWestern, Silent film, Action Film, Spy film, Mystery, Indie film, Black-and-white Similar moviesJohn Ford directed The Secret Man and Straight Shooting
The Secret Man is a 1917 American silent Western film, directed by John Ford and featuring Harry Carey. Two of the five reels of the film survive at the Library of Congress film archive.
As described in a film magazine, Cheyenne Harry (Carey) escapes from prison and while escaping comes upon the body of a young girl (Janes) that was thrown by a runaway horse. He picks her up and is proceeding on his way when his horse is frightened and bolts down a steep hillside. Harry, realizing the danger the girl is in, gives himself up so that she can receive care. Her mother Molly (Sterling) has secretly married Harry Beaufort (Foster) and it is her mother's brother who arrests Harry. The mother has been told that her little girl is dead and she loses her reason. At a church bazaar the girl is to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Mother and daughter recognize each other and the mother's mind is restored. Through the assistance of Harry, the mother and her husband are reunited. The sheriff is happy to find that the girl Annabelle is his niece and in appreciation of Harry's kindness allows him to go free.
Harry Carey as Cheyenne Harry
Edythe Sterling as Molly (credited as Edith Sterling)
J. Morris Foster as Harry Beaufort (credited as Morris Foster)
Elizabeth Janes as His Child
Vester Pegg as Bill
William Steele as The Foreman (credited as Bill Gettinger)
Steve Clemente as Pedro, the Foreman (credited as Steve Clement)
Hoot Gibson as Chuck Fadden
Filming took place under the working titles The Round Up and Up Against It. The film was released by Universal Studios through a subsidiary, Universal-Butterfly, in October 1917. It was a silent film on five reels, part of the "Cheyenne Harry" series of film featurettes.
Like many American films of the time, The Secret Man was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. The Chicago Board of Censors required a cut of the scene of the jailer dropping the keys before the prisoner's cell.