Gray Dawn (1922)

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Although this drama, "suggested by" the book by Stewart Edward White, takes place in the lawless post-gold rush San Francisco of the 1850s, its theme is pretty typical: a political boss runs rampant and makes things difficult for the upstanding district attorney. Nevertheless, much attention was given to period detail and the cast was well chosen, even though none of them were big stars. District attorney Milton Keith (Carl Gantvoort) is trying to convict gangster Charles Cora (Omar Whitehead) on a murder charge. However, Ben Sansome (Robert McKim, in yet another villain role), a powerful a political boss, makes sure that he gets off. When the acquittal comes through, a vigilante committee comes together but before they can take justice into their own hands, another murder is committed. This time, suspicion falls on Calhoun Bennett (George Hackathorne), the brother of Keith's fiancee, Nan (Claire Adams). But Keith has an ally in Kraft, a small time underworld character who is in his debt (the tiny, funny-faced Snitz Edwards). With Kraft's help, Calhoun is cleared and Sansome is caught before he is able to set sail for Mexico. Sansome and Keith come to blows, and after Keith wins the fight, he brings the boss and his men to justice.

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Keywords

anarchy, hanging, love, revenge, romance