Trooper O'Neil (1922)

Genres - Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film  |   Countries - USA  |  
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About the only thing that separated this Northwoods drama from the other several dozen that were released during 1922 was that this one took place in the summer, hence there are no snow scenes. Oddly, while the heroine wears lightweight dresses, all the men sport knitted caps and heavy jackets, as if they're waiting for a wayward snowstorm. Buck Jones -- still being billed as Charles Jones -- takes a break from his usual Western fare here, but this picture certainly didn't do his career any good. It's so loaded with clich├ęs that when one of the opening title cards reads, "a tale of love and duty in the Northwest," the whole audience probably could fill in the details for themselves: Trooper O'Neil (Jones) is out to get his man -- in this case, whoever murdered Jacob Dell. He poses as a trapper and heads for Saskatchewan country, where he meets and falls in love with Marie (Beatrice Burnham). Dell had ruined Marie's sister Celeste, so the suspects boil down to either her brother Paul (Jack Rollens) or Celeste's suitor, Pierre (Francis McDonald). But then evidence indicates that the killer would have a wound on the right side -- which Marie does. Torn between "love and duty," O'Neil chooses duty and arrests his sweetheart. But the real killer, Black Flood (Claude Payton) tries to murder O'Neil, and falls off a cliff in the ensuing chase. With his last gasps, he reveals that he did in Dell, so the very understanding Marie is reunited with her Mountie.

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Keywords

confession [criminal], investigation, love, Mountie (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), murder, neighbor