After serving an apprenticeship in two-reelers, western star William S. Hart graduated to features with the seven-reel Thomas H. Ince production The Bargain. Superbly directed by Reginald Barker and adroitly written by C. Gardner Sullivan, the film would remain one of Hart's best vehicles, and one which holds up magnificently when seen today. "Two-Gun Bill" is cast as Jim Stokes, an outlaw redeemed through the love of the heroine (Clara Williams). Building slowly and methodically to an action-packed climax, the film could not help but have inspired the later "cat and mouse" westerns of director Budd Boetticher. Curiously, many reviewers found The Bargain to be an excessively violent exercise; the Motion Picture World in particular worried that the film might be a "bad influence on youthful minds."
by Hal Erickson review