Magazine article American Cinematographer

King Cowboy: Tom Mix and the Movies

Magazine article American Cinematographer

King Cowboy: Tom Mix and the Movies

Article excerpt

by George Turner King Cowboy: Tom Mix and the Movies by Robert S. Birchard Riverwood Press, 290 pp., paperback, $24.95

So strong was the personality of Tom Mix that, 58 years after he made his last picture and 53 years after his death, his name still conjures up the image that defines the great Western movie stars. Even though few people today have seen him on the screen, books and magazine articles about Mix have proliferated in recent years to perpetuate his life and (more often) his legend. The latter was born of Mix's penchant for telling tall tales (he was a flat-bellied version of Major Hoople in that respect) and the willingness of studio press agents to embroider them as fact.

Mix's life held plenty of drama and adventure even if he wasn't really born in a log cabin near El Paso, wasn't a Texas Ranger or a U.S. marshal, didn't "single-handedly bring in the notorious Shonts brothers," and wasn't involved in the Boer War, the Battle of San Juan Hill, or skirmishes with Pancho Villa. …

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