Open Places (1917)

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Mollie (Ruth King) marries Clark (Carl Stockdale, one of the silent era's stock villains) before discovering he's rotten to the core. She finds out soon enough when he commits murder and dashes into Canada. Mollie becomes a schoolteacher in a nearby town, where she meets and falls in love with Constable Calhoun (Jack Gardiner) of the Northwest Mounted Police. But Clark spoils everything by showing up, and Mollie begs Calhoun not to cause any trouble. Clark's insults, however, are unbearable and Mollie finally asks him to go. Before he leaves, he challenges Calhoun, which turns out to be a big mistake, because the Mountie is by far the better shot. This picture, one of the very first directed by W.S. Van Dyke, is almost interchangeable with another picture he made in 1917, Land of Long Shadows -- it even has the same cast!