Early Pony Express Films

Colonel William Lightfoot Visscher was still doing research at the Chicago Press Club’s bar when the first film about the Pony Express was made in 1907. A second short, silent film followed in 1909 and two others in 1911 and 1912. The first film to capture this romantic bit of western history had preceded even the first book on the subject. Hollywood had discovered the Pony Express. . . .

Hollywood relied on the Pony Express at the very birth of the western. The story had everything a good western needed: fearless young men on galloping horses, a two-thousand-mile race against time across a vast wilderness, heroics, danger, Indians, desperadoes, blizzards, swollen rivers, and even some genuine celebrities from the days of “saddles and spurs” like Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok.