The Combat (1926)

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His career on the wane, former matinee-idol House Peters attempted a comeback in this robust silent melodrama from Universal. Peters plays Blaze Burke, a rough-and-ready lumberjack promised a pay raise if he can catch a gang of lumber poachers. Double-crossed by the owner's nasty nephew, Milton (Walter McGrail), Blaze vows revenge but is wounded in a shootout with the leader of the poachers (Captain C. E. Anderson). The lumberjack is nursed back to health by none other than Ruth (Wanda Hawley), his rival's girlfriend who switches allegiance when the cowardly Milton flees during a forest fire. A star since playing Mary Pickford's leading man in 1913's In the Bishop's Carriage, House Peters (1880-1967) retired after playing the villain in Rose Marie (1928). His son, House Peters, Jr., carried on the family tradition well into the sound era.