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The White Desert

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The White Desert
The White Desert FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byReginald Barker
Written byMonte M. Katterjohn
Gordon Rigby
Lew Lipton
Based onThe White Desert
by Courtney Riley Cooper
StarringClaire Windsor
Pat O'Malley
CinematographyPercy Hilburn (*French)
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • May 4, 1925 (1925-05-04)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The White Desert is a 1925 American silent drama film directed by Reginald Barker. The film stars Claire Windsor and Pat O'Malley, with Robert Frazer, Frank Currier, and Sōjin Kamiyama. It is written by Monte M. Katterjohn and Gordon Rigby and adopted from Denver author Courtney Ryley Cooper's novel The White Desert (1922).[1] This B movie was produced to keep the Loew circuit and other cinemas supplied.[2] The title refers to the snow covered Colorado landscape during winter.


As described in a film magazine and newspaper reviews,[3][4] Barry, the engineer for a construction company, criticizes the foreman for the method he is pursuing for tunneling for railroad construction. The snow ledges have been weakened by the constant dynamiting. With the next explosion of dynamite, an avalanche results which destroys the ledges and nearly wipes out the camp. The surviving workers are isolated, desperate and shattered by the disaster, and unable to obtain food. Foster and his wife have no milk for their child. With hard work, Barry strikes out and works his way out and is able to reach a telephone line, which he taps and calls for help. A relief train with snow plows makes its way through the snow pile and arrives with food and assistance. The camp is saved and Barry wins the affection of Robinette, the daughter of the railroad president.



The film was shot on Rollins Pass, Colorado, at the Corona townsite, during construction of the Moffat Tunnel,[5] which commenced in 1923 and was completed in 1928. Corona was a town dedicated to keeping the rail line open during the harsh winter, and was partially underground in a trench along the tracks, and under a snow shed. Claire Windsor was invited to Denver for a celebration and parade on February 26, 1928, for the opening of the Moffat Tunnel.


A print of The White Desert was donated by MGM to the George Eastman House.[6]


  1. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: The White Desert at
  2. ^ The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute, c.1971
  3. ^ "New Pictures: The White Desert", Exhibitors Herald, Chicago, Illinois: Exhibitors Herald Company, 22 (6): 86, August 1, 1925, retrieved July 9, 2022 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ "The Screen; Make Fun of the Hero". The New York Times. July 8, 1925. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  5. ^ Bockelman, Andy (July 18, 2013). "Silent film displays Colorado history". Craig Press. Craig, Colorado: Swift Communications, Inc. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  6. ^ The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: The White Desert

External links

This page was last edited on 16 November 2022, at 14:08
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