SANDY BURKE OF THE U-BAR-U
starring Louis Bennison and Virginia Lee
January 31, 1919
The Betzwood Film Company's presentation of Louis Bennison in "Sandy Burke of the U-Bar-U," written by J. Allan Dunn and directed by Ira M. Lowry, is a Goldwyn release.
The picture is an out-and-out "western" of the quick trigger variety, visualized with all the embellishments of modern photoplay production. Bennison has a most engaging smile, an easy, graceful, loping stride or roll and a magnetic, romantic personality. As a screen star he registers fetchingly. His leading lady, Virginia Lee, is a slight, willowy creature and makes a splendid foil for his cowboy love-making. The scenes are mostly exteriors, depicted with a truly wild west atmosphere.
The story is one of those tales in which a cowboy holds up a stage coach and commits other depredations not for his personal financial gain but as a benefactor to those in need. It isn't altogether consistent in that the villain isn't promptly punished for several dastardly crimes, and the heroine forgives the hero for theft when there was no real necessity for it.
It opens with a drunkard in the West receiving a letter from his dying wife saying she is sending their child to him. Just as the little girl arrives at the saloon, the drunkard puts his hand to his hop pocket to get his flask and the action is construed to be a gun play, whereupon he is shot dead. Enter the hero, who is shot at and falls forward on his face. Turning him over with his foot, the bully is covered by two revolvers in the hands of the hero, who is uninjured. The child enters, rowdy uses her as a shield and escape, carrying her with him. Hero rescues the child and takes her to a widow to board. Widow has a mortgage.
Molly, daughter of the sheriff, holds up hero, believing he is a bandit with a price on his head. She wants the reward to pay off the widow's mortgage. In a very funny scene she locks him up in a blacksmith shop with a window through which he could easily escape. He smilingly sits down with this back to the wall, which promptly falls in.
After hold up the mail coach the hero plays poker on credit and wins enough money from the mortgage holder to give the widow the price of the mortgage. After she pays it, he holds up the mortgagee and again secures the money. Later he becomes the deputy to the father of the girl, who is sheriff, and rounds up a band of cattle rustlers. In the interim, the bully twice kidnaps the girl, not being very harshly chastised for so heinous a crime. Rustlers plan a clean-up, showing how they rebrand stolen cattle and run the animals into a valley. They camouflage the entrance to it with foliage. Sandy, ahead of the pursuers, is captured and they are about to brand him, when he is once more rescued. The villain rushes off with the girl to a deserted cabin, from which the hero once more rescues her.
After the raiders are all in jail, there is a neat clean-up of the picture. Feeling he has no chance with the girl, Sandy says to her: "Guess I'll be going. I want you to be happy." "You want me to be happy? Then give me your guns for souvenirs." He does so. "Hold up your hands. Put your arms around me."
On the whole, a very attractive feature, with breezy comedy titles. It can't fail to give satisfaction.
Video source: Sinister
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