» » The Rough Riders (1927)

Short summary

The story of the military unit organized by future U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt and its adventures in Cuba during the Spanish-American War of 1898.

Following previews, the ending was reshot several times as the filmmakers vacillated over how happy or sad to make it.

The extras in this movie included the US Army's Second Division stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas. The second division was also used in Flügel aus Stahl (1927).

According to author Frank Thompson, outtakes from this film (battle and training footage shot in San Antonio) survive in the holdings of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. The film itself appears to have been lost.

Hundreds of applicants were tested as Teddy Roosevelt before the part was given to Frank Hopper, a book agent, because of his resemblance to Roosevelt.

The production worked in San Antonio from August 20th to October 14, 1926. The company moved to Santa Cruz in November, after a short break in Los Angeles. The final stage of filming took place at the then-brand-new Paramount studio from December 28, 1926 to January 8, 1927. The sequences for the Rough Rider training camp were filmed on an actual training camp just outside San Antonio with two veterans who oversaw the construction of the camp and acted as advisers.

The core cast and crew of this film (150 people) worked in Santa Cruz for twenty-one days and recruited 600 real military personnel, 250 African Americans and 350 Spanish and Cuban locals.

The partial 35 mm nitrate reel from the film at the Library of Congress includes the title frame without credits and several fragments from the film including a short battle scene of the rough riders charging toward the enemy over several fallen trees. The short fragments and from at least 5 of the original 13 reels. The reel is approximately 80 feet and includes the leader.

Cast overview:
Noah Beery Noah Beery - Hell's Bells
Charles Farrell Charles Farrell - Stewart Van Brunt
George Bancroft George Bancroft - Happy Joe
Charles Emmett Mack Charles Emmett Mack - Bert Henley
Mary Astor Mary Astor - Dolly
Frank Hopper Frank Hopper - Theodore Roosevelt
Fred Lindsay Fred Lindsay - Leonard Wood (as Colonel Fred Linsay)
Fred Kohler Fred Kohler - Sergeant Stanton
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