Released 10/08/17 by Universal/Bluebird Photoplays; Director: Joseph De Grasse; Screenplay: William Parker, from a story by Isola Forester and Mann Page; Cinematography: Jack Mackenzie; 5 reels
CAST: Franklyn Farnum (Teddy Crosby), Claire Du Brey (Senorita Dolores), Marjory Lawrence (Dorothy Stuart), Mary St. John (Mrs. Stuart), Sam De Grasse (Sir Mortimer Beggs), Lon Chaney (Waughnt Moore), H. M. Thurston (Getting Mohr), Raymond Wells ("Horned Toad" Smith), William J. Dyer (Jethro Quail), Eugene Owen ("Coyote" Crosby), Frank Tokunaga (Algeron)
SYNOPSIS: Teddy Crosby has inherited a cattle ranch from his eccentric uncle, "Coyote" Crosby, who has been shot by "Horned Toad" Smith. Teddy will get the ranch on the conditions that he live there for six months, and that he marry his distant cousin, Dorothy Stuart. Waughnt Moore and his partner are crooked lawyers managing the estate, and they try to frighten Crosby so that he will sell the ranch cheap. Dolores, an old flame of Teddy's uncle, goes to New York to try to extort money out of Teddy. Sir Mortimer Beggs, a fortune- hunting Englishman, tries to convince Dorothy that Teddy is carrying on with her. When Dorothy and her mother learn that Teddy is heading west to the ranch, and that Dolores is on the same train, they take off after them. Moore sends word to Smith that Teddy is arriving, but Smith pulls his gun on the wrong man, who nearly plugs him when he turns out to be a faster draw. Teddy saves Smith from being shot, and the two become friends. Dorothy finds Dolores comfortably settled at the ranch, and is about to return East, when Smith's gang raids the ranch. Even though Smith has given them 12 hours to turn over the ranch, Teddy goes to town for the Fourth of July fireworks. Moore tries to get Dorothy to sign over her interest in the ranch, and to have Smith kill Teddy. A gang of Mexicans is sent to capture Dorothy, but when they storm the house and discover the wine cellar, they all get drunk. Dorothy is captured by Pedro, the leader, but is rescued by Teddy. Teddy is captured by Smith's gang and is about to be branded, when Dorothy brings the cowboys to the rescue. The cowboys defeat the gang and they find Smith wrapped in a blanket after Teddy has won all his clothes from him playing poker. Teddy gives Smith a job as foreman of the ranch, and he and Dorothy, as well as Smith and Dolores are married.
"Nothing is to be taken seriously in ANYTHING ONCE...and everything goes with a slap and a dash and not the slightest heed taken of such a thing as probability." ---Moving Picture World
"A rather confused story, with plenty of action but little plot, is the basis of this latest Franklyn Farnum offering. Some audiences will like it, for it is fairly exciting at times, but very many patrons, especially in the higher class theaters, will be displeased at the story's lack of real humor and cleverness." ---Motography
"This following in the footsteps of Douglas Fairbanks' stuff is beginning to grow a trifle monotonous." ---Variety
NOTES: The film was originally titled THE MAVERICK, but was changed to ANYTHING ONCE prior to release. Early press releases, including information filed by the studio with the U.S. Copyright Office, report major differences in the character names, and even the cast list. In the prerelease publicity, Chaney's character is "Teck," Du Brey is "Paprika," De Grasse is "Herbert Wendling," and D.C. Appling is cast as "Horned Toad" Smith.
© 1996,2008 Jon C. Mirsalis
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