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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Cowboy movie star Bill Hart has something to say

Cowboy movie star Bill Hart had a chip on his shoulder, and he used a war bonds drive in Spokane to share it. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Cowboy movie star Bill Hart had a chip on his shoulder, and he used a war bonds drive in Spokane to share it. (Spokesman-Review archives)

William S. “Bill” Hart, the famous silent movie cowboy, used his Spokane visit to get something off his chest.

He paced the floor of his room at the Davenport Hotel and railed against his former movie company’s ploy of taking all of his old movies and reissuing them with new names.

“People go to a theater to see what they suppose is a new Bill Hart picture and find it one they saw two or three years ago under its original title,” Hart said. “… To make it hurt the worse, I get a couple of hundred letters a day on the subject and many of them read like this: ‘I don’t mind losing the time and the admission price myself, but think of the youngsters who save up their pennies to go and see a Hart picture and then find their money wasted on a feature they saw some other place not long before under a different name.’ Maybe you don’t think that gets my goat – but it does!”

Apparently, this was all part of a legal dispute between Hart and the Triangle studio. Hart was especially aggravated that many of these old movies were cheaply made, whereas his new pictures, for his new company, Artcraft, cost more than 10 times as much to make and had much higher production values.

Hart was in town on a Liberty Bond tour, and he made his statement on the condition that it not be printed until after the rally, so as not to take attention away from the Liberty Bond promotion.

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