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Broncho Billy and the Bandit's Secret (2015)

Short | 29 min | Short, Western

One hundred years ago Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, the first cowboy movie star, was making westerns for the Essanay Film Company in Niles Canyon. He and his company made over 350 films from 1912 to 1916, films that were seen around...See moreOne hundred years ago Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, the first cowboy movie star, was making westerns for the Essanay Film Company in Niles Canyon. He and his company made over 350 films from 1912 to 1916, films that were seen around the world. Niles, now part of the city of Fremont, still has the feel of that little town of 1,400 residents who were invaded by a small army of filmmakers. That era is celebrated by the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum at the Edison Theater, built in 1913, the same year Essanay built their studio on the adjoining block. To commemorate this pioneering period in film history, we have produced a two-reel silent western film using the techniques of those early days. The movie was shot on 35mm black & white film using a hand cranked Bell & Howell 2709 camera, with 'interior' scenes of the sheriff's office shot on an open-air set. The Niles Canyon Railway was recruited for a train robbery scene in the Canyon. Some of the vintage props used included a stagecoach, horse and buggy, 1908 Cadillac, steam engine and railroad passenger and baggage cars. The filmmakers were privileged to have the last living silent film star, Diana Serra Cary, known as Baby Peggy on the screen, who worked in Hollywood from 1921 to 1926 make a cameo. The story of the film involves the Essanay Film Company on a train headed for Niles when bandits stop the train in Niles Canyon to take the strong box, and Broncho Billy helps the sheriff bring the robbers to justice. See less
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Director
Writers
Sprague Anderson (co-writer) | David Kiehn (co-writer)
Cinematographer
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Status
Edit Released
Updated Oct 9, 2015

Release date
Oct 2015 (United States)

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Cast

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12 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Baby Peggy
The Movie Star The Movie Star   See fewer
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Bruce Cates
Broncho Billy Broncho Billy   See fewer
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Joel Crowley
Telegraph Operator Telegraph Operator   See fewer
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Bob Cuneo
Zander Zander   See fewer
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Christopher Goodwin
The Sheriff (as Christopher Green Goodwin) The Sheriff (as Christopher Green Goodwin)   See fewer
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Felicity Hart
Sarah Paymer Sarah Paymer   See fewer
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Members only
Ross S. Mortensen
Clarence Clarence   See fewer
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Vernon Putman
Train Passenger Train Passenger   See fewer
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William Rogue
Eli Paymer Eli Paymer   See fewer
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Shawn Rowe
The Deputy The Deputy   See fewer
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Marco Zambrana
Jess Robbins Jess Robbins   See fewer
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