Trail of Hate (1917)

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John Ford hadn't quite yet gotten his directorial career off the ground when he starred in this melodrama. He plays Lieutenant Jack Brewer, who has worked his way up through the ranks and is now based at a fort in the West. He has won the respect of his men, with the exception of Captain Dana Holden, a West Point graduate (Duke Worne). A stage coach is held up by outlaws, and the soldiers come to the rescue. In the skirmish, Brewer protects Madge (Louise Granville), whose father is killed. Madge becomes a servant at the fort and Brewer brings her some clothes. This causes a scandal, so he marries her to put things right. Madge doesn't think he loves her, so she feels free to carry on a flirtation with Holden. Brewer catches them together and it breaks up the marriage. A few years later Brewer is sent to the Philippines, where there is trouble with the natives. Holden and Madge are there too, and Holden is on scouting duty. When the natives attack, Holden tries to abandon Madge and the fort and is wounded. Brewer comes to Madge's aid. They find Holden, and Madge begs Brewer to take her back. He refuses and turns away from her.