Twilight On The Praries: I sat through Aces Wild thinking Harry Carey was old as dirt by 1936, forever in westerns, a pre-dater to John Ford and seemingly everyone who'd saddled up on screen ... then come to find he was my age when AW got done on customary ten-day (if that) B schedule. Does passage of time weigh lighter for current generations? Carey struggled up, built a ranch on silent stardom, then saw it flooded. Constructed again using talkie funds, this time the place burns to the ground. Maybe he kept at westerns against probability of life's next disaster, final of which I'd long understood to be a black widow spider's bite that killed him. Turns out that's a dad-blasted myth, but who started it? Harry Carey cowboy'ed before Bill Hart and possibly had a longest western run of all, his string taut from Griffith and Biograph to Howard Hawks and Red River (stills here are from silent-era Careys). HC set/crews gathered during 1910's resemble gold-rushers from a century before. His gestures were famously copied by John Wayne, who'd gone to see Carey's alter-ego, Cheyenne Harry, as a boy. John Ford helmed a bucket of these starting out. Was the by-30's famed director aware of his friend still pulling Cheyenne duty for humble Commodore Pictures Corp? Aces Wild is Carey/Cheyenne past exertion of silent days. A 30's public mightn't have been so patient with cowboys this far along had not Dad told them Harry was real stuff. I'd in fact bet middle-agers brought offspring to Aces Wild for recapture of youth-going flicker magic. Did toiling-at-B's Duke Wayne consult HC's twilight rides for backward glance and maybe further pointers toward his own emerging persona? By the mid-thirties, just showing up was enough for Carey, accumulated stature did the rest. Almost never does HC skin his sidearm here ... that's left for less cool heads. He's even bested in fights with younger opponents. It's old man's wisdom and judgment that wins Aces Wild's hand. Harry might have made an even better role model in maturity for reasoning ways out of trouble, though admittedly that makes for leisurely pull over 63 minutes seemingly longer. Better-backed cowboys chased along desert and rock pleasing to look at. Ones like Aces Wild on short tether made do with flat roads and brush, cameras distant or skewed to avoid tire tracks and power poles. These I'd call Scrubby Westerns. Sometimes a plane will be overheard, or a motorized something-or-other headed unexpectedly for the location. Carey's Cheyenne Harry is here settling a score gone way back. You wonder if maybe Aces Wild was a sequel to one Ford directed long before, with Carey putting late-date coda to it. Being past romantic eligibility, HC volunteers as rancher daughter's protector and avenger of her father's death. Aces Wild is about getting even for old wrongs, believable when it's Carey and varmints he opposes look as saddle-sore. Republic did a service putting youth on horseback and stunt guys who'd speed things up. Much as I sympathize with valedictory turns like Harry's, it's clear his kind of western wasn't going to renew the brand for changing audiences.