The Three Word Brand (1921)

Genres - Western  |   Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Twin brothers, separated at birth, are again found on opposite sides of the law in this typical William S. Hart western. Actually, Hart plays no less than three roles in this film: Ben Trego, a western pioneer who is killed during an Indian raid, and Trego's sons, both of whom are saved but adopted into different families. One grows up to become Paul Marsden, governor of Utah, the other, "Three Word" Brand (because of, as the title explains, the sparsity of his speech), the co-owner of a ranch. When the partner, Barton (S.J. Bingham) is falsely accused of murder and thrown in jail, "Three Word" urges the governor to intervene. The governor comes to investigate and, noticing the strong resemblance, "Three Brand" cooks up a scheme to derail the politician and take his place. At the capital, he manages to kill a crooked water bill and sign Barton's pardon. The brothers eventually learn the truth of their common parentage and "Three Word" is free to marry Barton's daughter Ethel (Jane Novak). According to contemporary reviews, Hart played his three roles to the hilt, and the film was highly praised for its fine camerawork (by the dependable Joseph H. August).

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