Starring William S. Hart
MOTION PICTURE NEWS
February 19, 1916
In this subject, William S. Hart still further clinches his position as one of the foremost "western" actors on the screen. His work in a difficult part is most finished, and his mastery of the situations marked.
Mr. Hart has been assisted by a capable company, and, moreover, by capable direction. Scenic effects have been added to the thrills, and these culminate in the burning of a church, and eventually by the burning of a whole village.
As Blaze Tracy, Mr. Hart is one of the leading citizens of Hell's Hinges, a western hamlet which has richly earned its name. When the young preacher and his sister arrive and try a little reform work, he falls in love with Faith, the sister, and consequently is of the greatest assistance to the preacher. The flock grows, and soon enough money is raised to build a little church.
The spread of religion annoys Silk Miller, proprietor of the notorious saloon and dance hall, and he sets about the ruin of the minister. This he does by getting one of the dance girls to work her wiles, and the young man falls. He is found by his congregation, the next morning, helplessly intoxicated.
In an endeavor to save him, Blaze rides to the next town for a doctor. In the meantime, the preacher, wandering delirious, gets back into the saloon, and is plied with liquor until he is again under the influence. Then the whole crowd starts out to burn the church, with the intoxicated preacher in the front ranks.
There is a gunfight in front of the church, and several of both parties are killed, including the minister; then the church is fired. When Blaze returns with the doctor, he finds Faith weeping over the body of her brother, stretched on the church lawn.
Enrages, he makes his way, pistols in hand, to the saloon; there he holds the whole crowd, shoots a couple, and by shooting the lamps to the floor, sets the place afire. While the terrorized habitués flee, the whole town goes up in flames. Blaze and Faith make their way off together into a new and better life.
The scenes of the fires, taken from considerable distances, are immense in their sweep of atmosphere and realism. Conviction is the keynote of the entire production, and the dramatic work presented is of the highest order.
Louise Glaum, as the dancing girl, and Clara Williams, as Faith,
give excellent characterizations. Jack Standing, Alfred Hollingsworth,
Robert McKim, J. Frank Burke are also members of the cast.
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