With Neatness and Dispatch (1918)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Like many another adventure film of the era, With Neatness and Dispatch was based on a Saturday Evening Post story by prolific wordsmith Kenneth Roberts. The story begins at a fancy country estate known as Eden, where Geraldine and Mary Ames (Beverly Bayne, Sylvia Arnold) live a sheltered existence with their eccentric Aunt Letitia (Ricca Allen). A natural-born man hater, Aunt Letitia refuses to allow Geraldine and Mary to have anything to do with romance. Aware that Mary wants to elope with a young engineer, Geraldine takes matters in her own hands, arranging with the local police commissioner (a long-time family friend) to have Aunt Letitia "robbed," tied up, and gagged by a supposed desperado, thereby allowing Mary an opportunity to escape. The man assigned to pull off the deception is the commissioner's son, Paul Donaldson (Francis X. Bushman), who pretends to be a notorious escaped convict named Slim Keegan. Little does anyone realize that Keegan is already ensconced at Eden as the family chauffeur, and that the crook is planning to pull off a genuine robbery with the help of the other servants, all of whom are his underworld cronies. Convinced that Donaldson is Keegan, Geraldine takes a liking to our hero and sets about to "reform" him, unwittingly affording the real Keegan time aplenty to loot the family safe. Donaldson manages to collar the crooks and save the family fortune, but out of love for Geraldine he agrees to keep the troublesome Aunt Letitia firmly trussed up for a while so that both Geraldine and Mary can be married in peace.

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criminal, nephew, police-commissioner, romance