When her father becomes ill, a young woman takes over the telegraph at a lonely western railroad station. She soon gets word that the next train will deliver the payroll for a mining ... See full summary »
When her father becomes ill, a young woman takes over the telegraph at a lonely western railroad station. She soon gets word that the next train will deliver the payroll for a mining company. The train brings not only the money, but a pair of ruffians bent on stealing it. All alone, she wires for help, and then holds off the bad guys until it arrives. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Very Good Drama With A Fine Performance By Young Blanche Sweet
This is a very good drama with a fine performance by Blanche Sweet who, almost unbelievably, was only 15 at the time. If D.W. Griffith had not remade it the following year (as the fine feature "The Girl and Her Trust), then Sweet and "The Lonedale Operator" might be better remembered.
The story is very similar to that in the better-known remake, with Sweet playing the daughter of a telegraph operator, who takes over when her father becomes ill, only to find herself thrust into a highly dangerous situation. The scenario was written by Mack Sennett, which makes it very interesting to imagine Sennett and the somber Griffith working together. It's surprisingly tight, and only a funny bit at the end (which works well) breaks the tension.
If you've seen and enjoyed the remake, this one is also well worth watching. It's less complex, but it's quite good in its own right. Sweet gives the heroine a different nature than does Dorothy Bernard in the remake, and both of them are quite good in the role, with no need at all to choose one or the other as the 'best' of the two performances.
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