Hell's Oasis (1920)

Genres - Western  |  
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Neal Hart, who was supposedly the cousin of William S. Hart, both directed and starred in this low-budget Western, which was based on the novel The Fighting Parson by William L. Roberts. Salvation Army worker James Hardy (Hal Wilson) and his daughter, Mary (Betty Brown), are making their way across the plains with a young mother and her little boy (Allen Smith) when they are attacked by Hawk Allen (John Tyke) and his gang. The group is found by Bob Spaulding, a cowboy and a loner. He finds them shelter from an oncoming storm and brings them to the nearest town, known as Little Hell. The townsfolk are horrified when Hardy and Mary start Sunday services at the old abandoned church. Mary even leaves a Salvation Army placard in the dance hall run by Wolf Sims (William Quinn). One night the church is burned to the ground and Hardy is murdered. Sims and his associates accuse Spaulding of the deed and have him thrown in jail. Dance hall girl Luna (Inez Gomez) helps him escape and he arrives at Sims' just in time to save Mary from an attack. Spaulding leaps through the window and beats Sims to the brink of death. Before he expires, he repents and reveals that he is the father of the little boy Mary and her father befriended. Spaulding and Mary build a new church in Little Hell, and the former cowboy becomes a preacher.