Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Strong enough to hold a pony in his arms

From Motion Picture Herald August 22, 1931
Since Tom Tyler was the weightlifting champion for 1928 – and he remained in top physical form for much of his film career until being diagnosed with scleroderma, it is not unusual to think that he could put his physical strength to good use on the movie set besides following script directions, such as mounting a horse from behind with ease. Can you imagine Tom using his physical prowess for playfulness? That is exactly what he did while making the silent film, “The Cherokee Kid”. Filmed at the Keen Ranch in the San Jacinto Mountains of California, Tom and the film crew all took joy in giving a two month-old Shetland pony plenty of attention. It is unknown if this adorable pony had any role in the filming of “The Cherokee Kid” - a lost silent film – although there are a few pictures plus a newspaper clipping that exist of the incident, not to mention Tom himself picking up the pony to hug it. It sounds like the pony enjoyed all of the attention and hugs it received, not to mention a bottle of milk for his dinner. Of course, the pony was named after the star of the film, Tom, and even got to meet his “adopted” parent, Flashlight. Perhaps it seemed like Flashlight thought that Shetland pony Tom was his own, for he licked the pony affectionately once Tom Tyler introduced them. Much has been said if horse sense, but who knew that horse love – specifically, pony love – could make filmmaking so much fun?

From Picture Play, April 1930

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