Zander the Great (1925)

Genres - Western  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Although this isn't a top-notch Marion Davies film, she's still very charming in it. Mamie Smith (Davies in pigtails and behaving in a near-parody of Mary Pickford) is a lively orphan whose antics are not appreciated by the orphanage's cruel matron (Emily Fitzroy). Mr. Pepper, a kindly trustee (Richard Carle), places her with Mrs. Caldwell (Hedda Hopper), who needs someone to help her care for her little boy, Alexander (John Huff). Mamie immediately calls him Zander. Mrs. Caldwell has been deserted by her husband and when she dies, Mamie sets out with Zander in a dilapidated old car to find him. Their trek takes them to Arizona where she winds up naively living with a group of bootleggers headed by Dan Murchison (Harrison Ford), who claims to be Zander's father. When she finally discovers the trade of her new friends she threatens to tell the sheriff (Hobart Bosworth), so Murchison locks her up and sends Zander to his friend, Juan Fernandez (Holbrook Blinn). Mamie escapes and is kidnapped by Black Bart (George Siegmann) and his gang of outlaws. She escapes from them, too, and heads for Fernandez's place, followed by the outlaws. Murchison teams up with the sheriff to capture the desperadoes and discover that Fernandez has killed Black Bart. Murchison admits he is not Zander's father, but that he knows the man has died. Because he has fallen in love with Mamie, Murchison vows to go straight and make a home for her and the little boy.

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Keywords

bootlegging, boy, matron, orphan, outlaw [Western], sheriff