A Wild Ride
The grief that Raoul Walsh experienced when his mother died was almost unbearable. So adrift was young Walsh that he could not understand his life or what lay in store. He knew how to escape great sadness by dreaming, then creating, an adventure of his own making, one shaped by his own design. His escape was forged from a schism in his psyche that he would come to articulate in storytelling and that he would come to count on. Now only “half a person,” Walsh had to fill in the other half of himself, and he would do it through adventure and storytelling. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, Walsh wrote and directed at a fever pitch. Grief, adventure, spiritedness—all these meshed together as Walsh traversed his long career. He was a man extremely conscious of how Hollywood viewed him, and he did all he could to help shape that view.
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