Little Red Schoolhouse (1923)

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This old-fashioned meller was based on a creaky stage play by Hal Reid, who specialized in "ten-twent-thirt" fare. A band of bootleggers is running their operation in the basement of a schoolhouse, and secret service man John Hale (E.K. Lincoln) is called in to track them down. The schoolteacher, Mercy Brent (Martha Mansfield), happens to be Hale's sweetheart, so it doesn't take him long to figure out that Dr. Matt Russell (Sheldon Lewis) is the head of the bootleggers. On a stormy night, during an argument between Hale and Russell's dad Jeb (Harlan Knight), Jeb is killed. Hale is accused of the crime but Mercy's father (Edmund Breese) tries to assume responsibility. Because he believes that she knows of his illicit operations, Dr. Russell kidnaps Mercy. Hale pursues and captures the bootlegger. When they return to the schoolhouse, they find the doctor's image has been etched on a window pane by a lighting bolt, showing that Russell is his father's killer. Brent and Hale are both cleared of the crime and the bootleggers are put out of business.