The 1926 Ranson's Folly was the second screen version of the rough-and-tumble novel by journalist Richard Harding Davis. Richard Barthelmess plays Lt. Ranson, an army officer who, out of boredom, bets his friends that he can successfully pull off a stagecoach robbery armed with nothing more than a pair of scissors. Disguised as the notorious masked bandit "the Red Rider," Barthelmess makes good his wager. Unfortunately, the army paymaster is murdered shortly thereafter. All evidence points to the Red Rider -- and, of course, to the innocent Barthelmess. It appears as though the genuine culprit is the father of Barthelmess' sweetheart Dorothy Mackaill. This turned out to be the case in the original Davis novel, but screenwriter Lillie Hayward has a few surprises of her own up her sleeve.
by Hal Erickson synopsis