Combat (1927)

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Produced by low-budget entrepreneur Burton King, this tropical melodrama stars George Walsh as Jack Hammond, an inventor whose new formula is stolen by the villainous Captain Yearkes (Bradley Page. To get his property back, Hammond hires himself out as Yearkes' bodyguard. On Yearkes' island of Tostado in the Florida Keys, Hammond falls in love with his enemy's pretty ward (Claire Adams), but Yearkes tries to influence her against the newcomer. When she refuses to believe him, the evil Yearkes plans to have Hammond killed but the lovers manage to escape the island in the proverbial nick of time. After having been summarily replaced by Ramon Novarro as Ben-Hur, George Walsh, the brother of director Raoul Walsh, found himself mired in less desirable efforts such as Combat. He survived the changeover to sound but, no longer a star, retired from the screen after playing the villain in Pinto Rustlers (1936), a cheap Tom Tyler Western.