The Heart of a Lion (1918)

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Fox's Heart of a Lion was based on the Ralph Connor novel The Doctor, with both the title and the storyline refashioned to fit the talents of virile William Farnum. The star plays farmer Barney Kemper, who toils and slaves so that his younger brother Dick can finish his medical-school education. Self-sacrificial to the point of lunacy, Barney says not a word when his sweetheart Margaret falls in love with Dick, nor when Dick begins piling up debts and in general behaving like a jerk. Upon learning that Dick wasn't worth all the effort, the disillusioned Barney leaves town and relocates in a distant mining camp. The two people who have meant most to Barney re-enter his life when the now-reformed Dick shows up as the camp's new minister, and Margaret, now a nurse, arrives to establish a hospital. Resenting Dick's presence, a local hooligan shoots him, whereupon Barney assumes Dick's duties at the pulpit -- but not before squaring accounts with his brother's murderer in a climactic showdown. Needless to say, Barney not only avenges his brother's death, but at long last marries the vacillating Margaret.