Capturing Bad Bill (1915)

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Raymond McKee, a lower-echelon star of the 1920s, got his start in films during the early 1910s in short pictures for Edison and Lubin. He was one of Lubin's main comedy stars for quite a while, and he's featured in this split-reel picture as Pete Pepper. Pepper runs a café in a Western town that is being terrorized by Bad Bill, an outlaw so threatening that the insurance companies refuse to let any of their customers run for sheriff. Pepper, however, is sick of being forced to feed Bill for free at his restaurant so he decides to become the sheriff and take care of the situation. No one has any faith in Pepper's ability to capture the bad guy -- the undertaker takes his measure, and his wife (Mabel Paige) buys widow's weeds in anticipation of the inevitable. But Pepper rises to the occasion by slipping a knockout drug into Bill's coffee. After tying up the outlaw and presenting him to the town, Pepper goes home and tosses Mrs. Pepper's mourning clothes out the window. A young Oliver Hardy has a bit part as one of the townsfolk.