Ruse of the Rattler (1921)

Genres - Western  |  
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Produced, directed, and starred by J.P. McGowan, this silent Western featured a screenplay by the prolific Anthony Coldeway. When young Bud Sanderson (Jean Perry) is arrested for cattle rustlings, Henry Morgan (Gordon McGregor) advances the money for his defence in return for securing an option on the Sanderson spread. Morgan hires the Rattler (McGowan) to drive the family off their land but the hired gun falls in love with Helen Sanderson (Lillian Rich) and refuses to carry out his orders. Bud, meanwhile, escapes from jail but is brought right back by the Rattler, who is concerned for the boy's safety. Helen misunderstands the gesture and sells the ranch to Morgan. But the payment is in funny money and the fleeing crook is soon caught by the Rattler. The latter is wounded during the final shootout but Helen's love brings about a speedy recovery. An Australian, J.P. McGowan is best remembered for directing his wife, Helen Holmes, in the long-running The Hazards of Helen series of railroad melodramas.