Bucking the Line (1921)

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From the beginning, sport celebrities found second careers as motion picture actors and this one sports two: former Yale fullback Maurice "Lefty" Flynn (just promoted to star status with this film) and pugilist Kid McCoy, who was also known as Norman Selby. Bank cashier Monty Smith (Flynn) has come up against some extremely tough times -- he is accused of a theft he did not commit, and his girl, Verda Richlander (Kathryn McGuire) has left him in favor of Tucker Jibbey (Lesly Casey). So Monty leaves his home in Edmunton and jumps in a boxcar, dressed in his evening clothes. He wins a friend in Jerry, a hobo (McCoy), when he saves his life. The two of them find employment on a railroad run by Colonel Dexter Baldwin (Edwin B. Tilton), who is in competition with Verda's uncle. After Monty saves Baldwin's daughter, Corona (Molly Malone), from a runaway handcar, he discovers that some of Baldwin's men have been bribed by Richlander to delay work so that Richlander ! can secure a right of way. Monty is put in charge of seeing the operation through to a timely end, which he does in spite of all efforts to stop him. He also, of course, wins Corona. Kathryn McGuire, who played the small part of Monty's first sweetheart, would probably be lost to ancient film history except for one thing -- she wound up being Buster Keaton's co-star in two of his best pictures, The Navigator and Sherlock, Jr..