Producer Jesse Lasky and stage impresario David Belasco teamed up for several films in the mid-teens and this tale of nineteenth-century California was their first project. Originally a Belasco play with Frances Starr, it became a Cecil B. DeMille/Oscar Apfel-directed feature. It opens up with a band of claim jumpers, led by the villainous Esra Kincaid (Dick LaReno), taking over the Espinoza ranch. The bandits kill the ranch's owner (Sydney Deane) and forces the daughter (future scenarist Jeanie MacPherson) to take her own life. Into this strife-ridden land comes Kearney (J. S. Johnston), an agent sent by the government to bring order out of the chaos. He romances Juanita (Bessie Barriscale), daughter of the Castros, then discovers that the Castro rancho is next on Kincaid's list for attack. Kearney calls for the cavalry, then holds off the outlaws long enough for them to arrive. With the battle won, he is able to declare his love for the vivacious Juanita. While there was a lot of potential to this picture -- it was both based and filmed in California, the involvement of Belasco, etc. -- some of it was cheaply shot, and it showed. Other pictures by the Lasky/Belasco/DeMille team -- notably The Warrens of Virginia -- would turn out far better.
by Janiss Garza synopsis