The Last of the Duanes (1924)
Director Lynn Reynolds kept the film fairly close to the novel. Usually, the public responded positively when movies paralleled Zane Grey's novels. Of course, Tom Mix and his horse, Tony may have drawn more fans than the novel itself.
Wikiwand shared several reviews of The Last of the Duanes:
The Buffalo Courier wrote, "Whenever Tom Mix and his famous, clever horse Tony get together in a film play of western life it can be expected that thrilling things are going to happen. It never fails that Tom and Tony get into and out of many startling situations and in The Last of the Duanes, they are said to do even better than usual."
Variety read, "The combination of the star and Zane Grey, with the capable Lynn Reynolds directing and a hand-picked cast, is supremely happy for this type of film. Those who like westerns (and who can begin to count them) will rave, and the comparatively few who don't will feel a lot more kindly toward them".
Click here to read The Last of the Duanes.
Marian Nixon played Buck Duane's (Tom Mix) love interest, Jenny, in The Last of the Duanes. Marian was from Wisconsin, born to Finnish parents. She was a teenage dancer on vaudeville, moving on to silent movies when she was 18. Her first major role was in Cupid's Fireman (1923). Her first Zane Grey movie was The Last of the Duanes (1924). Marian also pays the role of Beth, in Riders of the Purple Sage (1925). In 1929, she successfully made the conversion to talking movies appearing with actors like Ralph Bellamy and James Cagney. Her most famous starring role was Rebecca in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1932) Nixon retired from film in 1936.
Another co-star of The Last of the Duanes is Tony, the Wonder Horse. Donald Grayfield penned this tribute to Mix's great equine friend. "He was owned and trained by famous horseman Pat Chrisman and then purchased by Tom Mix for $600. Tony first appeared in the 1917 film "The Heart of Texas Ryan" because of an injury to his [Mix's] mainstay mount "Old Blue"...Tony became his full-time mount. Tom Mix did all his own tricks... he and Tony, "The Wonder Horse, made 181 movies together…Their travels covered the then 48 states as well as Mexico, Canada and Europe, where he performed for royalty making appearances in 25 major European cities...Tony at age 22, injured his hip and had to be retired. He was put to pasture at the Tom Mix Ranch in the San Fernando Valley and was replaced by Tony Jr ...Tony was left to a long-time lawyer friend who cared for him until 1942, two years after the death of Tom Mix. The animal had now reached the age of 42. Tony was humanely chloroformed by a veterinarian while he lay in his stall at the Mix Ranch located in what today is known as Universal City…His hoof prints are in the cement sidewalk in front of the famous Grauman's Theater. (as presented in Find A Grave)
Please click on his name to enjoy a brief video of Tom and Tony.
The Last of the Duanes has many posters and lobby cards to enjoy. Here are a few!