The Good Bad-Man

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The Good Bad-Man
Theatrical poster
Directed byAllan Dwan
Written byDouglas Fairbanks
Produced byDouglas Fairbanks
StarringDouglas Fairbanks
CinematographyVictor Fleming
Distributed byTriangle Film Corporation (1916 release)
Tri-Stone Pictures (1923 re-release)
Release dates
  • April 21, 1916 (1916-04-21) (Original release)
  • October 19, 1923 (1923-10-19) (Re-release)
Running time
50 minutes; 5 reels[1]
CountryUnited States
English intertitles

The Good Bad-Man[a] is a 1916 American silent Western film directed by Allan Dwan. The film was written by Douglas Fairbanks, and produced by Fairbanks and the Fine Arts Film Company. It stars Fairbanks and Bessie Love.

The film was originally distributed by Triangle Film Corporation. The film was edited and re-released by Tri-Stone Pictures in 1923.[4]

Full film


Bessie Love and Douglas Fairbanks as Amy and Passin' Through

"Passin' Through" (Fairbanks) is a benevolent outlaw who holds up trains so that he can provide for fatherless children in the Old West. He knows little of his personal history, but he is pursued by a US marshal (Cannon) who does. Along the way, he encounters Amy (Love), and falls in love with her. A rival bandit, "The Wolf" (De Grasse), is also a rival for Amy, but Passin' and Amy eventually marry.[1][3][5]


Preservation status[edit]

Love and Fairbanks in a still from the film[b]

No print of the original 1916 release exists, but a print of the 1923 re-release is preserved at the Library of Congress.[7]

On May 31, 2014, a restored print of the 1923 version was shown at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival at the Castro Theatre.[5] This print has an original title at the beginning: "Supervised by D. W. Griffith".

Release and reception[edit]

At the film's Los Angeles premiere, Bessie Love sang "The Rosary" by Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin.[8]

The film received positive reviews.[1][3] The cast and director, in particular, were noted for their excellent work in contemporaneous reviews.[1][3]


Fairbanks biographer Jeffrey Vance finds The Good Bad-Man fascinating for what it reveals about Fairbanks the man. Vance writes:

Passin' Through's unresolved relationship with an absent father and concerns of illegitimacy were also central to the identity of the offscreen Fairbanks, born Douglas Ulman. His mother, Ella Fairbanks (née Marsh), had been twice married before meeting attorney H. Charles Ulman, the son of German-Jewish immigrants. An alcoholic and bigamist, Ulman abandoned his new family when Douglas was five years old. At that time, Douglas's mother changed the family's surname to that of her deceased first husband, "Fairbanks." H. Charles Ulman died in 1915 and was undoubtedly in Fairbanks's thoughts in early 1916 when he developed the story of The Good Bad Man. The personal concerns and anxieties Fairbanks felt toward his identity were deeply concealed, which makes their exploration with his film's restless hero fascinating to watch.[5]


  1. ^ The title correctly has a hyphen between Bad and Man, which appears on posters for the film[2] and in contemporaneous reviews.[1][3]
  2. ^ A still photo from the film published in the November 1916 issue of Overland Monthly was used to illustrate the short story "Coyote o' the Rio Grande". Coyote o' of the Rio Grande is not an alternate title for the film.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Cooper, Oscar (April 22, 1916). "Screen Examinations". Motion Picture News. Vol. 13, no. 16. p. 2381.
  2. ^ "The Good Bad Man (1916)". Archived from the original on November 7, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Kennedy, Thomas C. (April 22, 1916). "Current Releases Reviewed". Motography. Vol. 15, no. 17.
  4. ^ Bennett, Carl (March 11, 2018). "Progressive Silent Film List: The Good Bad Man". Silent Era.
  5. ^ a b c Vance, Jeffrey. "The Good Bad Man". San Francisco Silent Film Festival program book, May 29 – June 1, 2014.
  6. ^ De Ryee, William (November 1916). "Coyote o' the Rio Grande". Overland Monthly. p. 384.
  7. ^ Lombardi 2013, p. 60
  8. ^ Lombardi 2013, p. 62


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]