The Fighting Heart (1925)

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Although director John Ford is mostly known for his Westerns made during his stint with Fox in the silent era, he filmed a number of non-Westerns -- which proved, pretty much, that Westerns were his forte. This Ford picture is a virile fighting drama, based on the novel, Once to Every Man by Larry Evans and starring George O'Brien. Denny Bolton (O'Brien) lives in a small town, where all the villagers deride the Bolton clan, which has bred a long line of drunkards. Denny, the youngest of the Boltons, is under a lot of pressure, and even his sweetheart, Doris Anderson (Billie Dove), wonders if he has been drinking. Because he once licked Soapy Williams (Victor MacLaglen), who is now a champion prize-fighter, Denny decides to go to the big city and try his luck in the ring. He faces Soapy Williams once again, but his inexperience shows and he is defeated. Denny gets his chance at Williams once again on the street; when Williams taunts him about Doris, he thrashes the fighter. After that, he returns home to find Doris eagerly waiting for him.