This one is notable because after several years as a successful actor in some popular serials, Tom made his feature film debut in this movie. Tom Mix went on to make more than 160 cowboy films throughout the 1920s. These action oriented scripts featured a lot of fighting, riding and stunts by Mix. Heroes and villains were sharply defined and a clean-cut cowboy always “saved the day.” Millions of American children grew up watching his films on Saturday afternoons. Mix did his own stunts and was frequently injured.
Edward LeSaint directed Cupid’s Round Up for Fox Film Corporation, and it was the start of a decade dominated by Tom Mix at the Box Office. The movie western was starting to gain favor with audiences and Tom Mix was leading the pack. The plot of Cupid’s Round Up was a typical Mix melange of romance, comedy and fast action, with emphasis on the latter. The film’s highlight was a scene in which Mix, hoping to escape a pursuing posse, jumps towards a moving train and crashes neatly through one of the passenger windows. It was a superb “gag,” and one which the star would repeat, with variations, throughout his career. The trade magazine Variety paid the ultimate compliment to Cupid’s Round Up, characterizing the picture as “typically American.”
His intelligent and handsome horse Tony also became a celebrity. An interesting story is that, Purchased from a Los Angeles street vendor as a colt in 1914 for $14 by horse trainer, Pat Chrisman, Mix would later buy the future “Wonder Horse” from him in 1917 for $600. Tony’s first movie as Mix’s leading steed was Cupid’s Round Up. Ultimately the horse became one of the most reknowned and well-traveled ever, visiting every state as well as many other countries. Mix taught his co-star about twenty tricks and stunts, and parts would often require the steed to dash off for help when his master was in danger, untie Tom’s hands or fight any man or beast that threatened his human companion. However, like his owner, Tony was quite temperamental. According to George Marshall, who directed several Mix pictures, Chrisman would work with Tony on some tricks and he would perform them beautifully during rehearsal, but when it came time to shoot, the great horse wouldn’t have any part of it. Come back the next day and he would do the scene without so much as a run-through. He just didn’t feel like working that day. Tom was known to sometimes hire a band to play popular, upbeat tunes on the set and claimed it was “for Tony’s enjoyment.”
Things to look up (go to IMDB):
Cupid’s Round Up
Glossary of stunt terms as defined by Wikipedia:
1. Trick Riding – Trick riding refers to the act of performing stunts while riding a horse, such as the rider standing upright on a galloping horse. Other stunts might include hanging upside down off of the side of the horse while attached to a strap or jumping on and off a galloping horse.