About the Film
Pat Halahan, the sheriff of a western town, receives a legacy and, with his dog “Hank,“ goes to see the sights in San Francisco. After Pat and Hank return to the hotel from a cabaret (Pat sober and the dog inebriated), he captures a pretty cat burglar, Faith O’Day, when she attempts to rob his room. Pat talks to Faith, and she agrees to give up her life of crime. Pat then takes it upon himself to return a brooch Faith has stolen earlier that evening before the owner discovers it’s gone. After doing some “second story work,” Pat is detected while putting the brooch back in a jewelry case in a woman’s boudoir, and detectives follow him back to the hotel. Faith pretends that she is his wife, telling the detectives that they have been together the entire evening. Faith later escapes from Pat, and he follows her to her home, where he meets Quig Mundy, a gangster. In order to ingratiate himself with Mundy, Pat impersonates The Chicago Kid, a gangster, and joins Mundy’s gang. Pat tips off the police, but when the real Chicago Kid shows up, Pat is beaten and locked in a cellar. The police free Pat, and he goes to Faith’s house, where he saves her from Mundy, who is shot by a mysterious Chinese undercover agent working for the San Francisco police.
About the Restoration
No script or continuity for Soft Shoes is known to survive, so the film’s restored intertitles are based on a translation of the Czech titles from the only extant version, a 35mm tinted nitrate print held at the Czech Republic’s National Film Archive (Národní filmový archiv) in Prague. In several instances the character names were changed for Czech audiences at the time. For instance, Harry Carey’s Sheriff Pat Halahan became Pat Harlan in the Czech. For this restoration, these names have been reverted to those of the American release. The color tinting reproduces the color scheme present in the nitrate source print. A partnership between Národní filmový archiv and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the project was made possible by a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.
Národní filmový archiv