Daily Clintonian (Clinton, Okla.), Dec. 7, 1923 | Click to enlarge.
Tom Mix "jumps" over Beale's Cut in Newhall in the 1923 John Ford 5-reeler,
"3 Jumps Ahead," from
Fox Film Corp. Mix, whose star rose as Bill Hart's waned, did a lot of filming in the
Newhall area from about 1916 to the early 1920s, and ran one of several "Mixville"
movie towns in downtown Newhall between San Fernando Road and Newhall Avenue, prior to his
establishment of a permanent Mixville in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles.
Mix claimed to have jumped Tony over Beale's Cut himself —
not once but five or six times to get the shot. Mix biographer Robert S. Birchard, author of "King Cowboy: Tom Mix and the Movies" (1993)
tells us he's certain Mix didn't do it. The film itself is lost, but Birchard, who owns seven frames of film showing the jump, insists the stunt was performed by
Earl Simpson, a horse trainer and stuntman with a ranch in Searchlight, Nev. Others who've been credited with the stunt over the years are
Richard Talmadge and Newhall's own Andy Jauregui.
It's possible there is more than one answer. In addition to some crazy-looking cut-and-paste production stills that show the horse and rider
drastically out of proportion to the Cut, there were three trailers for the film for different releases, Birchard says. They may have been shot at different
times using different people.
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