Man from Hell's River (1922)

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aka Hell's River Just about every actor has to work his way up from supporting roles and this even includes Rin-Tin-Tin. Known only as Rin Tin in 1922, he made a stunning debut in this drama of the Northwest, based on the James Oliver Curwood novel, The God of Her People. Pretty Maballa (Eva Novak) lives at a small French-Canadian trading post with her father. While her sweetheart Pierre, a Mountie (Irving Cummings, who also directed), is off capturing bad guys she finds herself at the mercy of Gaspard, an evil character also known as the Wolf (no, not Rin-Tin-Tin, but Wallace Beery in high villain mode). Gaspard knows that Maballa's father is wanted for a murder (which, of course, he did not commit) and threatens to have him arrested unless she marries him. Maballa has no choice, and is betrothed to Gaspard by the time Pierre returns to the post (here is where Rin-Tin-Tin appears, as the pilot dog of Pierre's team). Maballa cannot explain the situation to her Mountie boyfriend, but a priest finally tells all. Gaspard tries to take Maballa away, but Pierre follows and a fight to the death ensues. Just when things look bad for Pierre, his faithful pilot dog leaps on Gaspard and sends him flying over the cliff. Pierre and Maballa are finally reunited and Rin-Tin-Tin takes his place in movie history alongside another dog star of the silent era, Strongheart.

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Keywords

blackmail, damsel-in-distress, daughter, Mountie (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), rescue, romance, trapper