Barney Oldfield's Race for a Life

Barney Oldfield's Race for a Life (1913) is a silent comedy short, directed and produced by Mack Sennett and starring Sennett, Mabel Normand, and Barney Oldfield as himself. It is considered one of the earliest to include the plot of a villain tying a young damsel to the tracks of an oncoming locomotive; a holdover from the Gaslight era of Victorian stage melodrama.


Barney Oldfield races a speeding locomotive to rescue a damsel in distress tied up on the tracks by evil villain Ford Sterling.

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    director Mack Sennett
    genre comedy drama
    keywords damsel in distress tie up
    producer Mack Sennett
    publisher Keystone Film Company
    theme melodrama short