The Fighting Blade (1923)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 61 min.  |  
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Richard Barthelmess plays completely against type in this romantic costume drama. Instead of the usual homespun boy, here he is the swashbuckling Karl van Kerstenbroock, Flemish soldier of fortune. He comes to England to avenge the death of his sister and becomes embroiled in the plot to overthrow King Charles I. When he is insulted by Watt Musgrove, a Royalist (Bradley Barker), he challenges him to a duel. Musgrove's sister Thomasine (Dorothy Mackaill) disguises herself as a boy and tries to dissuade Karl from the duel. Meanwhile, Musgrove's cousin, Lord Robert Erisey (Morgan Wallace), orders Karl's arrest. After discovering that Thomasine is a girl, Karl arrives at the headquarters of Oliver Cromwell (Frederick Burton) and joins the Roundheads. Cromwell sends Karl to the Staversham castle, the home of Thomasine's fiancé and his father. His presence is discovered and he is condemned to die. But Thomasine saves him by hiding him under her bed and feigning smallpox. This enables him to escape and round up enough soldiers to capture the castle. He rescues Thomasine from a forced marriage to the Earl of Staversham (Lee Baker), and wins her for himself.

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Keywords

accusation, bad-guy, daughter, escape, espionage, good-guy, imprisonment, love, refuge, search, swashbuckler, war