Dawn of Understanding (1918)

Genres - Western  |  
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This Western romance was adapted from Bret Harte's novel, The Judgment of Bolinas Plains, which had been made into a stage play prior to its translation to film. It's the story of Sue Prescott (Bessie Love), who is accompanying her parents to the gold fields. When her mother dies, her father (George A. Williams) marries her off to rancher Ira Beasley (John Gilbert). It is a marriage of complete indifference; neither Ira nor Sue have any passion towards the other. Sue, however, meets acrobat Jim Wynd (J. Frank Glendon) when the circus comes through town, and he gets her blood pumping. Jim shoots a man in a brawl, and while hiding in Ira's barn, he convinces Sue to run away with him. On the night they are to take off, the sheriff (George Kunkle) happens on the couple in the barn and is shot by Jim. Jim is put on trial, convicted and sent away to hang. Thus ends Sue's one true romance. It is ironic to note that John Gilbert, the struggling young actor who played unromantic dullard Ira Beasley became a superstar heartthrob in the latter half of the twenties!