Kill-Joy (1917)

Genres - Western  |  
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Mid-1910s child star Mary McAlister had the lead role in this flimsy but heart-warming picture. Billie(McAlister) and her father are crossing the plains in search of a new home. While looking for water, the father falls down a cliff and is killed. Billie is found by Bob (James Fulton), and he takes her back to town. But this Western hamlet is even rougher than most -- so rough, in fact, that women aren't even allowed within city limits. Even though Bob hides Billie, the other residents -- who have names such as Rattlesnake Pete (James West) and Sure Shot Mike (William F. Clifton) -- know something is up. When they finally find Billie, they reluctantly allow her to stay, since she's not yet a woman. One of the men, however, the Crab (Granville Bates), has her kidnapped by Indians. But by now, nearly all the town's inhabitants have been won over by Billie's impish antics and they're up in arms. The Crab, realizing his mistake, retrieves Billie, but the others resolve to hang him anyhow. Billie saves him at the last moment by crying out that she "loves her Crab," and he is released from the hangman's noose. The Crab then joins Billie's long list of surrogate fathers.