Milestone Films

Big Stakes

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One of the most breathtaking 35mm tinted and toned nitrate prints from the silent era (see HERE for the opening scene), the Library of Congress has graciously provided Milestone with an exceptional video master of this silent cult classic. BIG STAKES is an entertaining, exciting, hilarious – and yes, strange – addition to cinema history and Latino studies. What else can you call a film that involves a lovely señorita, a hell-bent buckaroo, a dangerous Mexican captain, a poisonous Gila monster, the KKK … and everybody’s fate, the big stakes, decided on by two "brincadores?" That would be Mexican jumping beans. Which, as you may know, neither jump nor are actually beans...

Mercedes Aloyez, the daughter of a wealthy Mexican rancher, is betrothed to Captain Montaya. The rootin’ tootin’ buckaroo Jim Gregory (complete with comic sidekick) is in love with the ladies, but with a special eye towards barkeep Mary Moore. While out riding, Gregory saves Mercedes from a fate worse then death. (Well, actually, it is death.) The cowboy falls for the señorita, which earns the Mexican Captain’s displeasure. When Mercedes and Gregory meet for a nighttime rendezvous, they are captured by the Mexican soldiers. The Captain threatens them with the infamous and deadly Gila monster, but the resourceful cowboy bets his life against the captain’s with, of course, a race between Mexican jumping beans. A victorious (well, his bean, anyway) Gregory spares the honorable Captain and asks Mercedes to choose whom she loves. This uncomfortable situation is interrupted by the KKK (okay, actually the white-robed and a matching white hood-ensembled “Night Riders”) who have captured Mary. Gregory rides out to the rescue and upon return, discovers that Mercedes loves the Captain – and that he has a renewed fondness for Mary. BIG STAKES is a fun and rip-roarin' ride across the plains of western -- and Western -- cinema. And for 1922, a fascinating and complex look at Mexican and American stereotypes. Comes with D.W. Griffith's RAMONA starring Mary Pickford!

This DVD is also available for Institutional Purchase, which includes public performance rights and a 3-year streaming license. Please click on the “Format” button and select “DVD Institutional Rate.”

 An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights

Individuals and non-profit institutions purchasing at the DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray rate — or streaming at published rental and sales prices — are authorized to use the film only for private home screening and legitimate classroom showing (a regularly scheduled class with an instructor present), per the United States Copyright Law. You can learn more about the distinction between classroom and public performance screenings here.


US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class need to purchase DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate — which grants 3-year in-house streaming rights and an on-site public performance license. This in-house streaming license is for a term of three years from the date of purchase and grants the purchasing institution the right to stream over a single secure server with a password-protected connection. Streaming access must be strictly limited to currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff. Streaming rights extensions can be negotiated with Milestone after the initial three-year term has lapsed. Milestone retains the right to terminate this agreement at any time. No broadcast, Internet or other rights are granted or implied. These rights are for on-site use only per the license agreement. 

Similarly, US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class via Milestone’s streaming site must contact Milestone to arrange a separate public performance license. For more information, please email 

US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to screen a DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray they already own in an open showing must purchase a public performance license. For more information, please email 

The purchase of DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate by anyone outside of a North American non-profit educational institution does not grant rights for public performance or streaming.

Any continuous or loop screenings as part of a museum exhibition must also be licensed separately. Inquiries must be negotiated directly with Milestone by emailing

Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints

All bookings must be made by phone or email correspondence with Amy Heller (201.767.3117 or to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Milestone sends a written confirmation.

DCPs are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing DCPs appear on your invoice. The immediate return or transshipment (as directed) of all DCPs is your responsibility.

DCPs should be returned to:

Milestone Film & Video
38 George Street
Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640-0128
United States 

35mm and 16mm prints are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Please do not ship prints back via US Mail. Exhibitor pays to ship both ways. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing prints appear on your invoice. The immediate return of all prints is your responsibility.

Prints should be returned insured for $1,000 to:

Iron Mountain
Attn: Milestone Account
235 Main Street
Little Falls, NJ 07424

For public screenings, advertising materials can be requested by contacting

Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available here in their complete versions.


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