The Devil Dodger (1917)

Genres - Action, Western  |  
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The name Roy Stewart might mean little today, but in the mid to late 1910s, Stewart was a close competitor to western stars such as William S. Hart and Tom Mix. In this typical western from the period, Stewart portrays Silent Scott, a gambler who runs a frontier town with an iron fist. Onto the scene comes what was then termed a "Sky Pilot," a wandering preacher. A head-on collision is inevitable, and the preacher is wounded. The man of God is nursed back to health by the proverbial saloon belle with the heart of gold (Belle Bennett), who also happens to be the gambler's girlfriend. The explosive situation is brought to a benign conclusion, however, when the preacher saves Silent's life. The former bad man redeems himself in the accepted manner, and the preacher can plan a future with the ex-saloon belle. The wandering clergyman, whose lack of faith is restored in the face of all the sin, is played by future matinee-idol John Gilbert, then billed simply as Jack Gilbert. Gilbert's past as a travelling stock actor betrays him in films like The Devil Dodger, and it is hard to recognize the sophisticated star of The Merry Widow and The Big Parade.

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Keywords

salvation, bad-guy, barnstorming, bishop, doctor/nurse, girl, good-guy, health, religion, sky, town, weapons, west, woman