William S. Hart in “The Ruse”

April 21, 2013

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By 1915, William S. Hart had been making pictures with Thomas Ince for two years and had completed twenty films.  The running time for these two-reelers was about 22 minutes.  So, (rough math here), he’d clocked about 500 minutes of screen time.  What was to become his standard character had already emerged and was solidifying.  As were the themes of his dramas.

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The key word here is not “Bat” but “reformed.”

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He helps old drunky.  He’s kind to working women.  He sets the table.  Just don’t kidnap his gal or try to swindle him out of his mining claim.

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He’ll burn down your whole world!  (see also “Hell’s Hinges.“)

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