Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

"The Seventh Bandit"

Starring Harry Carey Sr.

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Lobby Card


Lobby Card

Saugus rancher and A-list silent actor Harry Carey stars in the Charles S. Rogers production of "The Seventh Bandit," distributed by Pathé Exchange in 1926.

Lobby card, 11x14 inches. While some of the publicity materials (such as this) still exist, the film itself is believed lost, as are 75-76 percent of all movies from the silent era. But we know it had at least one barroom scene: The caption on this lobby card reads, "The 'First Chance' saloon, where many a man took his last chance."

It's still early in the development of colorized lobby cards. This one is set up like an enlarged version of an 8x10 publicity photo with writing across the bottom, and it shows the early technique (which started in about 1923) of blotting a black-and-white image with watercolor and then reproducing it in full, four-color offset printing. The blurry words at lower left of the image read, "Country of Origin," followed by something illegible. One can assume it says "U.S.A."

"The Seventh Bandit" premiered April 18, 1926. A year later, in March 1927, Pathé Exchange — which started out in 1904 as a subsidiary of a French company but went independent in 1921 — was purchased by Joseph P. Kennedy (JFK's father). It then merged with other distribution and production companies to become RKO Radio Pictures in 1928.

About Harry Carey Sr.

Actor Harry Carey (Sr.) acquired a homestead at the mouth of San Francisquito Canyon in 1916 and established a rancho. The ranch included the Carey's wooden ranch home as well as several outbuildings and the Harry Carey Trading Post, which was a tourist attraction that included billed entertainment from Navajo Indians and other performers, along with a store that sold Western and Indian curios. The ranch was occasionally used for filming. The Careys' son, Harry Carey Jr. (Dobe), who would follow in his father's acting footsteps, was born in the Carey ranch home in 1921.

The trading post washed away in the St. Francis Dam disaster of March 1928 and was not rebuilt. The Indians left about a month earlier, son Dobe said in a 2005 interview. Dobe said a shaman saw "a big crack and predicted it would break." The ranch house was situated at a higher elevation and survived the flood, only to burn down in 1932. The Careys replaced it by building a Spanish adobe home, which they sold with the rancho in 1945.

Harry Carey was born Henry DeWitt Carey II on January 16, 1878 on 116th Street in the Bronx section of New York City. His father was a special-sessions judge and president of a sewing machine company. Harry attended a military academy but declined an appointment to West Point, instead trying his hand as a playwright.

According to the Internet Movie Database: In 1911, his friend Henry B. Walthall introduced him to director D.W. Griffith, for whom Carey was to make many films. Carey married twice [correx: 3 times; see here], the [third] time to actress Olive Fuller Golden (aka Olive Carey), who introduced him to future director John Ford. Carey influenced Universal Studios head Carl Laemmle to use Ford as a director, and a partnership was born that lasted until a rift in the friendship in 1921.

During this time, Carey grew into one of the most popular Western stars of the early motion picture, occasionally writing and directing films as well. In the 1930s he moved slowly into character roles and was nominated for an Oscar for one of them, the president of the Senate in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939). He worked once more with Ford, in "The Prisoner of Shark Island" (1936), and appeared once with his son, Harry Carey Jr., in Howard Hawks' "Red River" (1948).

He died Sept. 21, 1947, in Brentwood, after a protracted bout with emphysema and cancer. Ford dedicated his remake "3 Godfathers" (1948) "To Harry Carey — Bright Star Of The Early Western Sky."

Carey would appear in at least 233 films, including short features, between 1909 and 1949.

Further reading: Harry Carey Ranch: Historic American Buildings Survey No. CA-2712.

LW3719: 9600 dpi jpeg from original lobby card purchased 2020 by Leon Worden.
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