Nevada (1927 film)

Nevada is a 1927 American silent Western film directed by John Waters and starring Gary Cooper, Thelma Todd, and William Powell.[1] Based on the novel Nevada by Zane Grey, the film is about a former outlaw hired to protect a ranch owner's daughter, which angers the ranch foreman who is in love with the girl. The villainous foreman spreads a rumor of his rival's dark past to the sheriff, and the former outlaw is soon on the run again. Eventually he captures a gang of cattle rustlers led by the foreman, and with his reputation restored, he marries the girl.[1] This lavish Western film was remade in 1944 as Nevada starring Robert Mitchum—the only time Cooper and Mitchum played the same role.

Lobby card
Directed byJohn Waters
Produced by
Written by
Based onNevada
by Zane Grey
CinematographyCharles Edgar Schoenbaum
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • August 1, 1927 (1927-08-01) (USA)
Running time
7 reels, 6,258 ft
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

Nevada still survives in a complete copy, but the film's appearance is not the best, due probably to poor preservation. It is possible to make out scenes, but not as well as other highly restored silent films. This was a very early Western role for Gary Cooper, but his fame in Westerns would be more noticeable in talking pictures.[2]


A feared gunfighter named Nevada (Gary Cooper) breaks his friend Cash Burridge (Ernie Adams) from the Lineville jail. When they reach the town of Winthrop, the two men decide to take respectable jobs on a ranch owned by Ben Ide (Philip Strange), an Englishman they rescued from Cawthorne's gang of cattle rustlers. Fearing the rustlers, Ide hires Nevada to protect his sister, Hettie (Thelma Todd), angering the ranch foreman, Clan Dillon (William Powell), who is in love with Hettie.

The villainous foreman spreads a rumor of his rival's dark past to the sheriff, and soon Nevada and Cash join up with Cawthorne's gang in order to escape the sheriff. Unknown to Nevada, Cawthorne's gang takes its orders from Dillon, who is the leader of the rustlers. During a raid, Dillon shoots both Cash and Cawthorne, but Nevada learns of his treachery from his dying pal. Later in a confrontation, Nevada is wounded by Dillon but is saved by the arrival of the posse and the evidence given by the wounded Cawthorne against the leader. With his reputation restored, Nevada is free to marry Hettie.



Parts of the film were shot in Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and Cedar Breaks National Monument.[3]:286


Copies of Nevada survive and are held at the Library of Congress and George Eastman House Motion Picture Collection.[4][5]


  1. "Nevada (1927)". The New York Times. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  2. "Progressive Silent Film List: Nevada". Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  3. D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood Came to Town: a History of Moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  4. Catalog of Feature Films The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, p. 125, c.1978 by The American Film Institute
  5. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: Nevada
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