The Barrier (1917)

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Running nearly two hours, The Barrier was the first screen version of the same-named novel by Rex Beach. Set in the Northwoods, the story concerns a young girl named Necia (Mabel Julien Scott), the foster daughter of displaced Virginia aristocrat John Gaylord (Russell Simpson). Having raised Necia to believe that he is her natural father, Gaylord has shielded the daughter from the awful truth: That her real daddy, Dan Bennett (Howard Hall), is a no-good brute. Ultimately, Bennett returns to Necia's life, leading to a dramatic if not particularly surprising finale. In addition to her standard heroine duties, actress Mabel Julien Scott was also seen as Necia's mother in the film's prologue. A more streamlined version of The Barrier appeared in 1926, with Henry B. Walthall, Lionel Barrymore and Marceline Day.