Hell Bent
Hell Bent.png
Scene from the film
Directed byJohn Ford
Written byJohn Ford
Harry Carey
Eugene B. Lewis
StarringHarry Carey
CinematographyBen F. Reynolds
Distributed byUniversal Film Manufacturing Company
Release date
  • July 6, 1918 (1918-07-06)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
English intertitles

Hell Bent is a 1918 American Western film directed by John Ford and featuring Harry Carey. A print of the film exists in the Czechoslovak Film Archive.[1]


As described in a film magazine,[2] Bess Thurston (Gerber), whose no-account brother Jack (Pegg) is unable to support her, obtains employment in a dance hall. This shatters the illusions of Cheyenne Harry (Carey), who has fallen in love with her. When he rescues her from the advances of Beau Ross (Harris), Cheyenne's confidence in her is restored. Her brother then aids Beau in an attempted robbery and Harry allows them to escape. Beau takes Bess with him into the desert. Harry follows and a duel ensues in which they are both wounded. Bess rides the only horse left out of the desert, while Beau and Harry struggle along on foot. A sandstorm results in the death of Beau, but Harry lives to find happiness with Bess.



Like many American films of the time, Hell Bent was subject to restrictions and cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors cut, in Reel 1, all scenes of the stage holdup, Reel 4, two scenes of men working at safe, all scenes of holdup on coach, Reel 5, binding man to horse, and three scenes of bandits in cabin shooting.[3]

Restoration and home video

In 2019, the film was digitally restored by Universal Pictures[4] and released the following year on Blu-ray and DVD by Kino Lorber.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Hell Bent". silentera.com. Retrieved March 1, 2008.
  2. ^ "Reviews: Hell Bent". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 7 (4): 42–43. July 20, 1918.
  3. ^ "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 7 (6): 41. August 3, 1918.
  4. ^ "Universal Pictures Restores John Ford's Hell Bent Premiering at San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2019". PR Newswire. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  5. ^ "Hell Bent Blu-ray and DVD". Kino Lorber. Retrieved August 13, 2020.