Black Wolf (1917)

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The Black Wolf (Lou Tellegen, posing here instead of acting) is a Robin Hood type of bandit who terrorizes the Spanish countryside, and especially Don Philip, the Duke (H.J. Herbert). The Duke has his eye on Donna Isabel (Nell Shipman), the daughter of the Chancellor (James Neill) and heiress to an American fortune. But when the Duke makes a grab for her in the forest, the Black Wolf and his men rescue her. They also steal the Duke's ring and this leads them to discover that the Black Wolf is the real Duke, not the mere orphan raised by old charcoal burner Luis (Paul Wiegel). Complications, of course, arise -- the fake Duke convinces Isabel that if she marries him he will spare the Black Wolf's life; the two men duel for the girl , the Black Wolf wins and makes Isabel his duchess, etc. All of this was pretty old, even in 1917. It would take Douglas Fairbanks' sparkling charisma in the 1920s to bring real life to the genre of adventure films.