Riders of the Night (1918)

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Another of a successful string of Metro features directed by the vastly underrated John H. Collins, Riders of the Night was set in Kentucky hill country. Collins' wifeViola Dana stars as Sally Castleton, a country girl in love with a brooding and idealistic aristocrat. When her sweetheart joins a night-riding vigilante organization, Sally is temporarily dismayed but resolves to hide the man from the authorities. Ultimately she gives up her own life for the sake of her lover. Though clearly inspired by Birth of a Nation, the film never resorted to mere imitation and was capable of standing up on its own dramatic and aesthetic merits. Unfortunately, like most of the Collins/Dana collaborations, Riders of the Night has apparently long since disappeared.