Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> TOM MIX
"Fighting for Gold"
TOM MIX


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8x10-inch lobby card (printed, cardstock) advertising the 1919 Fox Film Corp. feature, "Fighting for Gold," starring Tom Mix.

8x10 BW was the standard for lobby cards in the 1910s. In the United States, they switched to 11x14 in 1919-1920.

We don't know where this picture was filmed, although we do know Mix was starring in movies made in Newhall during this period and had only recently acquired his equine co-star Tony in Newhall (see below).

Just two of the five reels of this 50-minute picture survive. According to Mix biographer Robert S. Birchard, the existing reels "show it to have been a well-produced entertainment. It is the earliest example of Tom's Fox feature work to survive" (Birchard 1993:150).

Birchard writes (pg. 133):

In 1937, 20th Century-Fox suffered a major vault fire at its East Coast storage facility, and the original negatives for virtually all of the Fox Film Corporation's silents and early talkies were lost. For years, it was thought that only two of Tom's eighty-five Fox pictures survived, "Sky High" (1922) and "Riders of the Purple Sage" (1925). However, in the late '60s, 20th Century-Fox embarked on a search for its early film heritage and a few more Mix titles turned up, including "The Untamed" (1920), "The Night Horsemen" (1921), "Trailin" and "Just Tony" (both 1922), "Soft Boiled" (1923), "The Rainbow Trail" and "Dick Turpin" (both 1925), "The Great K&A Train Robbery" (1926), and "The Last Trail" (1927). Another dozen or so titles turned up in Czechoslovakia, including "The Road Demon" (1921), "Teeth" (1924), "North of Hudson Bay" (1924), "The Best Bad Man" (1925), and "Oh, You Tony!" (1924). Unfortunately, the Czech versions generally survive in beat up exchange prints, with missing footage, and four-frame Czech flash titles, making them virtually incomprehensible. A print of "The Texan" (1920) is known to survive at the Danish Film Archive, and others may yet surface — although time is running out for any fragile nitrate prints that might rest in a forgotten vault, attic or garage as tantalizing fragments of "Hearts and Saddles" (1917) and "Fighting For Gold" (1919) attest.

Directed by Edward LeSaint, "Fighting for Gold" also features Teddy Sampson, Sid Jordan, Jack Nelson, Harry Lonsdale, Robert Dunbar, Hattie Buskirk, Frank Clark, Lucille Young ... and last but not least, a very young Buck Jones.


Born in Mix Run, Penn., on Jan. 6, 1880, Tom Mix appeared in more than 300 films (counting "shorts") from 1909 to 1935. He occasionally filmed in Newhall from about 1916 to the mid-1920s and set up one of his early "Mixville" Western movie towns between Spruce Street (now called Main Street) and Newhall Avenue.

A part-time Newhall resident during that period, Mix lived across the street (probably on Walnut Street) from the Thibaudeau home, which was located at the southwest corner of Market Street and Newhall Avenue. In a televised interview, lifelong Newhall resident Gladys Thibaudeau Laney (1910-2014) said she observed Tom buying his sidekick "wonder horse" Tony on her family's property when she was a young girl.

Mix would later establish his most famous "Mixville" on Glendale Boulevard in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles.

Prior to his movie career, Mix appeared in a series of Wild West shows where he was noticed by pioneering film producer Col. William N. Selig, who hired him to handle horses. He worked with Selig, writing, directing and acting, until 1917, when he signed with Fox to star in moving pictures alongside Tony.

Mix reached the height of his popularity during the 1920s, assuming the mantle of King of the Cowboys from William S. Hart, who retired from filming in 1925. But Mix did not adapt well to "talkies," and his career waned in the 1930s. His popularity remained intact, however, as he took his show on the road on the Western performance circuit. It was on the road that he would perish, when his 1937 Cord sent him to an untimely demise on Oct. 12, 1940, south of Florence, Ariz. Adding insult to injury and death, most of the 85 films he made with Fox were lost in a 1937 fire at the company's East Coast storage facility. But Mix was remembered fondly through his radio show and comic books, which outlived him by more than a decade.


LW3040: 9600 dpi jpeg from original lobby card purchased by Leon Worden.
NEWHALL MIXVILLE

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Newhall Mixville

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Newhall Mixville?

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Tom & Tony 1919

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Reckless Driving, Newhall 1920

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On Location in Newhall 1922

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Studio Cottage


TOM MIX

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Tom Mix & Tony

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The Man Within 1916

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Western Blood 1918

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Fighting for Gold 1919

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Three Jumps Ahead 1923

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Three Jumps Ahead Lobby Card COPY

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Ads for 3 Jumps Ahead 1923

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Mix Says He Jumped Beale's Cut 1923

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1923 Letter: Three Jumps Ahead

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Mile-A-Minute Romeo 1923

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The Rainbow Trail 1925

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Arcade Card

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Grauman's Chinese Theatre 12-12-1927

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King Cowboy 1928

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Pays Back Taxes 1930

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Final Ride 1940-1990

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No. 1 - Jan 1948

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No. 8 - Aug 1948

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Modern Portrait

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