Fred Thomson, arguably Tom Mix's closest rival in the late 1920s, was one of the few series-western leads to portray historical heroes. Thomson was Jesse James in a 1927 whitewash of that legendary bandit before starring in the title-role of Kit Carson. The famed frontiersman saves Indian girl Sings-In-the Clouds (Dorothy Janis) from being attacked by a huge bear. She, in turn, saves him when he is captured by an Indian war party and later stows away on an expedition. Again and again, Carson must save the stupid girl -- mainly from the lecherous advances of gargantuan trapper Shuman (Raoul Paoli) -- but in spite of her love for him, the frontiersman, in accordance with the miscegenation laws of the time, chooses white-girl Josefa (Nora Lane). This major Thomson effort was filmed on grandiose locations at Lake Mary, Arizona where nearly 500 local Indians, mostly Navajos, were used as extras. Despite all that, the film was not a huge success, and a planned epic depicting the life of Davy Crockett was shelved. As it turned out Kit Carson proved Thomson's final film. He died of pneumonia on Christmas Eve, 1928.
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