Plow Woman (1917)

Genres - Western  |  
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Because Mary MacLaren's character was so quietly long-suffering, her stiff performance in this Western passed as stoic. Squatter Andy MacTavish (Harry de More) is a misogynist who is bitter over having to raise two daughters alone. The elder daughter, Mary (MacLaren), works the plow and takes care of her sister Ruth (Marie Hazelton). Jack Fraser (L.C. Shumway), who grew up with the two girls, is now a lieutenant, and he and Ruth fall in love and secretly marry before Mary sends Ruth away to school. Because the railroad is being built through their land, MacTavish is urged to file a claim, but half-breed Buck Mathews (Hector Sarno) and his brother Bill (Eddie Polo) beat him to it. Buck comes to the MacTavish home to attack Mary, but he is stopped by Fraser. Buck then develops an admiration for Mary's courageous spirit, and he reforms. Meanwhile, Ruth is sent home from the school as an unfit influence on the other girls -- the reason becoming clear when she arrives with a baby. MacTavish mistakes the child for Mary's (in silent films, women are never visibly pregnant -- they just show up one day with a baby). He tosses her out of the house, and she and the child are attacked by Indians. Fraser rescues them, and Buck also comes to their aid; they return to the MacTavish cabin, where the baby situation is cleared up, and Mary returns to her plow.