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!

 An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights

Individuals and non-profit institutions purchasing DVDs, DVD-Rs, or Blu-rays — or streaming — at published home-use sale and rental prices are authorized to use the film only for private home screenings and legitimate classroom showings (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.


Through our distribution partner, Kino Lorber, Milestone provides a variety of licensing to suit all needs. Our standard institutional licensing packages are designed to provide colleges, universities and qualified non-profits with the best value for multiple uses, and our one-time community screening licenses allow any organization to exhibit high-quality films for a reasonable fee. Please note that all licensing carries restrictions on audience numbers and/or geographic range.


  • CLASSROOM RIGHTS allow unlimited use in face-to-face classroom situations for the life of the media, restricted to a single campus or location. Please note that this license doesn't include public screenings or digital transmission of any kind.
  • PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS (PPR) allow educational and nonprofit groups to exhibit our films to groups of 100 or fewer individuals where admission is not charged. The term of the public performance license is for the life of the DVD. However, if you intend to charge admission, expect an audience over 100, or publicly advertise the screening, then we ask that you contact us regarding an exhibition fee. Films purchased without Public Performance Rights are restricted for individual viewing or face-to-face teaching in the classroom only.
  • DIGITAL SITE LICENSES (DSL) allow colleges, universities and nonprofits to locally host and stream to their community on a closed, password-protected system for the life of the digital file.
  • K-12 PPR comes with limited performance rights so films can be shown in classrooms, at PTA meetings, during after school programs, and transmitted on a closed-circuit system within a K-12 school building or on a single campus. 

For all educational licenses and screenings, please Estelle Grosso, Director of Educational and Non-Theatrical Sales & Distribution at Kino Lorber (Milestone’s distribution partner) at:

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 by emailing

Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints

All bookings must be made by email correspondence with George Schmalz, Director of Theatrical Sales at Kino Lorber (Milestone’s distribution partner) at: to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Kino Lorber sends 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 from Milestone’s distribution partner Kino Lorber. in their complete versions.


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