Utilising Taylor’s previous experience as a jockey, Harrison created a plot centred on Taylor as an heroic jockey who saves his lady love. Pender, starring as the the daughter of a horse trainer, was rescued by Taylor from a criminal gang determined to stop him from riding the race favourite to a win. The film was titled In Emergency Colours, and marketed the notorious Taylor as a modern day ‘elusive pimpernel’.
The tongue-in-cheek irony was not lost on the local authorities. Already fearful of the increasing popularity of films depicting crime and criminals, film censors worked quickly to ban the film from public screening. Victoria’s Chief Commissioner and NSW’s Chief Secretary’s Office gazetted new regulations under the Theatres and Public Halls Act to prohibit any motion picture deemed objectionable in its depictions of criminal activity.
Despite Harrison’s last-ditch attempts of preview screenings, by November 1922 NSW Chief Secretary Oakes had officially banned In Emergency Colours on the basis that it was ‘representing two persons who figured recently in Criminal Court proceedings’.