GenreWestern, Comedy, Drama Duration LanguageEnglish
Release date1930 (1930) WriterAlfred Block (screenplay), Alfred Block (story), Joseph Farnham, Byron Morgan (screenplay), Byron Morgan (story), Ralph Spence ScreenplayJoseph W. Farnham, Ralph Spence, Byron Morgan, Alfred Block CastWilliam Haines (Windy), Leila Hyams (Molly Rankin), Polly Moran (Pansy), Cliff Edwards (Trilby), Ralph Bushman (Steve), Vera Marshe (La Belle Rosa) Similar moviesThe Final Girls, Scary Movie 5, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!, 21 Jump Street, Fifty Shades of Black
Way Out West is a 1930 American comedy film. It tells the story of "Windy", a con man who cheats a group of cowboys out of their money. When they discover his cheating and learn that he himself has been robbed, they force him to work on a ranch until he has paid his debt. Way Out West stars William Haines, Leila Hyams, Polly Moran and Ralph Bushman and was directed by Fred Niblo.
Windy, a sideshow barker, cheats a group of cowboys out of their pay but is then robbed himself. When the cowboys discover they have been cheated they initially decide to hang him, then decide to make him work off his debt. He falls in love with ranch owner Molly and, when he saves her life after she is bitten by a snake, he wins her heart.
William Haines as Windy
Leila Hyams as Molly Rankin
Polly Moran as Pansy
Cliff Edwards as Trilby
Ralph Bushman as Steve (as Francis X. Bushman Jr.)
Vera Marshe as La Belle Rosa
Charles Middleton as Buck Rankin
Jack Pennick as Pete
Buddy Roosevelt as Tex
Jay Wilsey as Hank
Way Out West was made on a budget of $413,000, one of the most expensive William Haines vehicles.
The New York Times deemed Way Out West "an impertinent, moderately comic affair tinctured with slapstick and romance". The film made a profit of $84,000, making it one of the least profitable of Haines's films of the period.
Gay film historians, noting the homosexuality of William Haines, suggest that Way Out West is "one of the gayest films ever made". Haines biographer William J. Mann cites latent homoeroticism and inside gay humor throughout the film. In one particular example, viewed in light of the Pansy Craze that was beginning to reach Hollywood, Windy is mistaken for the cook, Pansy. When called by her name he replies, "I'm the wildest pansy you ever picked!" Richard Barrios, author of Screened Out: Playing Gay in Hollywood from Edison to Stonewall, concurs, writing, "For anyone seeking gay text or subtext in any of Haines's movies, this is the one to study."