Midnight Bell (1921)

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Although the setting is rural, this mystery with its occasional comic overtones, was something of a departure for star Charles Ray (who, by 1921, was producing and directing his own features). Traveling salesman Martin Tripp (Ray) is a failure at the rubber heel business and is stranded in a small town. He gets a clerk job at the general store and falls in love with Annie (Doris Pawn), the daughter of his boss, Abner Grey (Van Dyke Brooke). The town's church is supposedly haunted, and Martin decides to inves tigate. But what he finds is a group of robbers who have dug a tunnel from the church to the bank. Meanwhile, Annie -- who works at the bank -- has been kidnapped by the crooks because she has the combination to the safe. She gives them a false set of numbers, and although Martin has been bound and gagged, he manages to grab the bell rope and sound the alarm. The tunnel is sealed off and the crooks are captured. Martin, of course, gets the girl. This picture was adapted from the stage play by Charles Hoyt.

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bank, robbery, sheriff