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Francis X. Bushman


slappy3500
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I once saw this guy in a sword and sandal flick when I was a kid and I understand that he was a HUGE star in his day. Yet I have never seen any mention of him in any of the documentaries about the silents or any mention of him ANYWHERE for that matter.

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Francis X. was one gorgeous, sexy **** boy, the mature matinee idol that the public loved back in the l900s. His movies are impossible to find these days. Other than Ben Hur, where he looks fantastic, I've only seen photos of him. Wooo, that profile of his! I do know that he was yet another victim of MGM's Louis Mayer. Somehow, Bushman was suppose to meet Mayer for a party or a meeting but the message never got to Bushman. Mayer was infuriated and black-balled him in Hollywood. How Bushman got to make Ben Hur at Mayer's studio is a mystery. Bushman made a whole string of movies with his wife, Beverly Bayne. They were the J-Lo and Ben Affleck of the l900s. Wouldn't it be fantastic if someone unearthed all these flicks and we could see for ourselves this early male heart-throb?

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I could have sworn that there was one Francis X Bushman movie from the late 20's (other than Ben-Hur) that was available on video for a while, but I can't remember the title.

 

But, I think the late teens were the biggest years for Bushman-Bayne features. Ah, the late teens.... So there we are again....;)

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I found the title. It's still available from Grapevine Video. It's called "Dangerous Traffic" and it's from 1926.

 

However, the credits read - "Francis X Bushman Jr". I can't find any listing for "Jr" at www.imdb.com, but, on the other hand, they don't list this title under "Francis X Bushman"'s movies either - so maybe there really was a Jr.

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Bushman made a more impressive LOOKING Messala than Stephen Boyd, but subtitles really don't convey the nature of the man. The later version shows a man who appears normal but his deliberate suppression of compassion,freindship and mercy in his pursuit of power make him truely evil.

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Just in case anyone cares, there does indeed appear to have been a Francis X Bushman Jr. Not only did I find a still of him in Blum's "Pictorial History of the Silent Screen" for a 1927 film, but I also saw his name in the credits of the film "Viva Villa!" that aired last night on TCM.

 

So, it appears that "Ben-Hur" may truly be the only extant Francis X Bushman (Sr?) film.

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