The Secret Man
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Directed byJohn Ford
Written byJohn Ford
George Hively
StarringHarry Carey
CinematographyBen F. Reynolds
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • October 1, 1917 (1917-10-01)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
English intertitles

The Secret Man is a 1917 American silent Western film, directed by John Ford and featuring Harry Carey. Two of the five reels of the film survive at the Library of Congress film archive.[1]


As described in a film magazine,[2] Cheyenne Harry (Carey) escapes from prison and while escaping comes upon the body of a young girl (Janes) that was thrown by a runaway horse. He picks her up and is proceeding on his way when his horse is frightened and bolts down a steep hillside. Harry, realizing the danger the girl is in, gives himself up so that she can receive care. Her mother Molly (Sterling) has secretly married Harry Beaufort (Foster) and it is her mother's brother who arrests Harry. The mother has been told that her little girl is dead and she loses her reason. At a church bazaar the girl is to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Mother and daughter recognize each other and the mother's mind is restored. Through the assistance of Harry, the mother and her husband are reunited. The sheriff is happy to find that the girl Annabelle is his niece and in appreciation of Harry's kindness allows him to go free.



Filming took place under the working titles The Round Up and Up Against It. The film was released by Universal Studios through a subsidiary, Universal-Butterfly, in October 1917. It was a silent film on five reels, part of the "Cheyenne Harry" series of film featurettes.[3]


Like many American films of the time, The Secret Man was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. The Chicago Board of Censors required a cut of the scene of the jailer dropping the keys before the prisoner's cell.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: The Secret Man". Retrieved February 21, 2008.
  2. ^ "Reviews: The Secret Man". Exhibitors Herald. 5 (16). New York: Exhibitors Herald Company: 28. October 13, 1917.
  3. ^ Gallagher, Tag (1986). John Ford: The Man and His Films. University of California Press. p. 504. ISBN 0-520-06334-1.
  4. ^ "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. 5 (17). New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company: 33. October 20, 1917.