Tongues of Flame (1918)

Genres - Western  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This film was based on Western author Bret Harte's novel, In the Carquinez Woods. After stabbing a man who tried to do her harm, dance-hall girl Teresa (Marie Walcamp) is arrested by Sheriff Dunn (Alfred Allen). When he and his deputy take her through the Carquinez woods, she escapes by killing the deputy and wounding the sheriff. She finds a protector in half-breed L'Eau Dormant (Al Whitman). At first wary of the reclusive Dormant, our heroine falls in love with him, but he still carries a torch for "nice girl" Nellie Wynn (Lilly Clarke), the frivolous daughter of a country preacher (J.P. Wilde). In the traditional manner, L'Eau discovers to his chagrin that his "virtuous" sweetheart is anything but and settles at last for the affections of the no-nonsense Teresa. Later, Sheriff Dunn, who is also one of Nellie's suitors, goes after L'Eau with murder on his mind. But when the half-breed discovers that the sheriff is his father, the man who betrayed his Indian mother, he refuses to do battle with him. Somewhere along the way, a forest fire breaks out, thereby justifying the film's title. Apparently there were two endings to this film -- the original in which L'Eau, Dunn and Teresa all died in the fire, and an edited version far more typical of Hollywood, in which L'Eau saves Teresa from the flames just in time.