On the day of his wedding, Cheyenne Harry's ( Harry Carey ) bride ( Clita Gale ), his father ( Alfred Allen ) and his mother ( Jennie Lee ) are killed on the steps of the church by his enemies. A year later, Harry returns to Mesquite to avenge the deaths of his loved ones. He kills the guilty persons one by one until he gets to Gale Thurman ( Joseph Harris ). Harry rescues Thurman's bride-to-be ( Seena Owen ) from a stagecoach holdup and cares for her in a cave he has made into his home and slowly falls in love with her. Harry and Thurman are obliged to unite together to fight off the Apaches of the desert, and during the battle, Thurman declares his innocence in the wedding day massacre. Both men are wounded, and Thurman dies despite Harry's valiant attempts to save him. Harry then finds happiness with Thurman's fiancée.
This western/drama was released as a Universal Special feature in June 1919, a 60-minute silent film on six reels. It was part of the long-running "Cheyenne Harry" series of film featurettes. The story was written by the star Harry Carey and the director John Ford (with help from scenarist Eugene Lewis). Though it has an unusually high level of violence ("lots of killings", as Moving Picture World noted, critical reviews of the time lavishly praised both the story and film. Sadly, Riders of Vengeance now remains a lost silent film.
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