The Trail Rider

The Trail Rider is a 1925 American silent directed by W. S. Van Dyke and starring Buck Jones. Based on the 1924 novel The Trail Rider: A Romance of the Kansas Range by George Washington Ogden, the film is about a trail rider hired to protect ranchers from the actions of a corrupt banker. The film was produced by Fox Film Corp. and was released on February 22, 1925 in the United States. It marked Gary Cooper’s film debut as a stunt rider. It is not known whether the film currently survives.

The Trail Rider
Theatrical release poster
Directed byW. S. Van Dyke
Produced byWilliam Fox
Screenplay byThomas Dixon Jr.
Based onThe Trail Rider
by George Washington Ogden
StarringBuck Jones
CinematographyReginald Lyons
Distributed byFox Film Corp.
Release date
  • February 22, 1925 (1925-02-22) (US)
Running time
  • 50 minutes
  • 4,752 feet, 5 reels[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film, English intertitles


Tex Hartwell (Buck Jones) rescues an old cobbler from the physical assault of corrupt banker Jim Mackey (Carl Stockdale). When Mackey orders his hired guns to kill Tex, the stranger outdraws them. Rancher Dee Winch (Jack McDonald) is impressed with Tex's fast draw and hires him as a trail rider, tasked with keeping diseased cattle off of his land.[2]

Sometime later, Mackey's men stampede a herd of infected cattle onto Winch's land. When Winch learns of the infected cattle, he fires Tex, who leaves in disgrace. Meanwhile, Tex learns from Fanny Goodnight (Lucy Fox) that Mackey was behind the stampede of infected cattle. Tex confronts the corrupt banker and forces him to sign a confession admitting to his guilt. Later, the old cobbler kills Mackey, Tex's reputation is restored with the cattlemen, and he and Fanny ride trail together on their own.[2]



The Trail Rider is based on the 1924 novel, The Trail Rider: A Romance of the Kansas Range by George Washington Ogden (New York).[3]


The film was released in Austria as Steppenehre.[1] It is not known whether the film currently survives.[1][4][5]


  1. "The Trailer Rider". Silent Era. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  2. "The Trail Rider". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  3. "The Trail Rider". American Film Institute. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  4. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:..The Trail Rider
  5. The Trail Rider at Lost Film Files: lost Fox films - 1925
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