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Robert J.Horner

There are incapable directors who make sympathy and enter history. In addition, there are incapable directors who are locked up and buried in time memory. Perhaps because beyond being inadequate to the role, they are protagonists of such stories that it is best to forget.
One of these is a prolific filmmaker/producer between mute and sound cinema, whose artistic achievements and human facts are sinister.
Robert J. Horner, son of an Irish miner who moved to Illinois, was born in 1894 or 1896. Of his childhood and how he enters in the world of cinema, is unknown. Chronicles begin to talk about him more or less in 1916 when he worked in Hollywood as author and writer for Universal and for the star of mute Western Hoot Gibson.

At the beginning of the 1920s, obviously not happy to work only as screenwriter Horner began a dense Western film production where he did everything from writing to production. Extremely low budget films, with poor screenplay and costumes used by different actors. Behind the camera, there is so much inability underline also by the advent of the sound, which Horner use badly.
It began his career in 1921 with "The Scorpion's Sting" and from the following year he intensifies production, immediately becoming a "name" and playing the title of the worst director of the era with Victor Adamson, another uncertain Hollywood artist, also Western-inspired.

However, Horner goes into the story because he has never received a positive review, and even today, no one thinks about the slightest revaluation.
However, he has to be recognized that he know how to do it right. That is, to pick up big actors names in decline. Alongside with him, we find Art Acord ("Fighters in the Saddle" of 1929) actor and rodeo champion, who has a star on the Walk of Fame, who after an intense career retires in 1929 in Mexico where he works as a miner and as a cow boy in the rodeos before committing suicide in 1931. Then Jack Perrin, Fred Church and Ted Wells note Western Universal's shoulder, which with Horne becomes the protagonist of "The Phantom Cowboy," which with "The Border Menace "(considered the worst Western film of all time) shares the movie's most famous film by Horner.
Wells should become more of a protagonist, because as announced in 1934 in an interview, he should be the star of a series of eight films. However, a series that stops after the first chapter "Defying the Law" of 1935. We are at the end of Horner's career those two years earlier, with his production company ending in bankruptcy as reported by a Variety article. It is only one of the many participations and collaborations in Production Company. "Robert Horner Pictures, Inc.", "Robert J. Horner Productions, Inc." "Roadshow Classics", "American Pictures Corp." and most notably "Aywon Film Corporation", are all or almost Horner's properties that disappear in nothing.
So far the story of this director is like others bad artists with the dream, ambition (and arrogance) of wanting to break through Hollywood. One of those who promise big things and make big announcements.
However, Horner is an extravagant, strange, and sinister character. First, it is not clear whether due to a malformation or an accident in youth or adult (for Variety would be the first hypothesis), he does not have the legs and goes around for the sets on board an electric wheelchair. For other sources, he also misses one eye. Nothing bad from this point of view but our hero grabs money from anyone who is near him and sometimes makes it a bit questionable. In 1927, he was arrested for having violated labor laws. A certain Bernice Lewis gives him $ 500 to make a movie, but Horner is unable to return the sum. Emma Gordon instead gives $ 25 in exchange for the promise of a job that is never given to her. Jack Perrin, an actor, denies that he has not given what he agreed for a series of films in which he starred.
Not bad for a career consisting of forty bad films written, produced and shot between 1921 and 1935. The latest news note arrives in 1939 when Horner announces the beginning of a series of Spanish films with Amanda Varela star of Argentine cinema of the time. Of course, he does not do anything and in 1942, the director dies for cirrhosis.