The Gun Fighter (1917)
50min · Western · 11 February 1917
Cliff Hudspeth, the leader of a band of outlaws in Arizona, has won his place by the killing of notorious gun-bullies. At their headquarters, in the Gila Mountains, in consultation with "Ace High," his lieutenant, he plans depredations on the neighboring settlements. Although Hudspeth is powerful, their rule is disputed by El Salvador, a half-breed, and his following of desperadoes. Desert Pass is the scene of many conflicts between the contending bands. Rumors of the arrival of miners with gold causes El Salvador to send "Cactus" Fuller, his henchman, to levy tribute by a hold-up, which is successful. Flushed with triumph, he boasts in the "Golden Fleece" saloon of the ignominies to which he would treat Cliff Hudspeth if he ever met him. Hudspeth arrives and makes Cactus, whom he throws out of the saloon, realize that something must be done to retrieve a shattered reputation. Coming out of the saloon, Hudspeth sees Norma Wright, a milliner, standing at the door of her little store, and waves her inside, as he anticipates trouble. The shooting commences and Cactus is defeated. As Hudspeth is preparing to leave town Norma denounces him as a cold-blooded murderer. Stung almost to madness by the girl's accusation, he seizes her and gallops out of town. At his retreat he locks the stupefied girl in a room and seeks to drown the memory of her words with whiskey. The whiskey, and his awakened conscience, bring him to review his life, and, half delirious, he sees his victims pass reproachfully before him. The girl, too, becomes aware of the human side of the man and next morning she brings him around to her way of thinking and extracts a pledge that he will never willingly kill another human being. Soon after there comes from a member of the legislature offer of a pardon and restoration to citizenship if Cliff will undertake to rid Arizona of El Salvador. Hearing of Cliff's new appointment, El Salvador is wild with rage, and burns the town and drags Norma away to the mountains. Cliff Hudspeth rescues her and kills El Salvador, although mortally wounded himself. He places the girl on a horse, which bears her to safety, and passes away consoled that his last killing was in her defense.
- Written by
Moving Picture World synopsis
Director(s): William S. Hart
Cast: William S. Hart, Margery Wilson, Roy Laidlaw
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