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Dynamite Smith (1924)

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Gladstone Smith, a fearful young reporter, gets on the wrong side of a murderous criminal and flees to Alaska, along with the killer's wife, who is equally frightened of her husband. But ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Charles Ray ...
Gladstone Smith
...
Kitty Gray
...
Violet
...
'Slugger' Rourke
Lydia Knott ...
Aunt Mehitabel
S.D. Wilcox ...
Marshall
Russ Powell ...
Colin MacClintock (as Russell Powell)
Ethelbert Knott ...
Dad Gray (as Adelbert Knott)
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Storyline

Gladstone Smith, a fearful young reporter, gets on the wrong side of a murderous criminal and flees to Alaska, along with the killer's wife, who is equally frightened of her husband. But the murderer pursues them to the frozen north and Gladstone must overcome his cowardice in order to overcome his nemesis. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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melodrama | See All (1) »

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Drama

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Release Date:

12 October 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Timidez e Covardia  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Star Charles Ray Returns to the Guidance of Producer Thomas Ince
31 October 2011 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

By 1922, until his death in 1924, many of producer Thomas Ince's former associates were returning to the fold, as I reveal in my Ince biography. Most prominent of these, at the end of March, 1924, was Charles Ray. After departing Ince and Paramount, he had entered independent production in 1921, climaxing in 1923 with the failure of his self-financed The Courtship of Miles Standish. The movie, also featuring former Ince player Enid Bennett as Priscilla opposite his John Alden, had cost $600,000. In its wake, Ray had to move out of his house and into an inexpensive apartment, while his wife opened a dress shop.

For his part, Ray admitted publicly what many felt about him and his departure from the Ince fold.

"I know I have been called stubborn, self-willed, bull-headed, presumptuous, a 'fool and his money,' a know-it-all-guy, and all sorts of harsh and uncomplimentary things, simply because after seven years of professional work under the guidance of one producer--and good guidance, too!--sticking pretty closely to one type of portrayal, I felt an overwelming urge to 'do something different.'"

However, he now recognized "I had waited too long. The public would have none of me in some of the things I most cherished; and if I had kept on, I suppose I should have found myself, as in my boyhood days, acting to an empty room."

Ray retained warm feelings for Ince as a result of letters sent during his discouraging days as a star-producer. Ince felt he knew better than Ray himself how to salvage his stardom, and believed it could be accomplished inexpensively. Although he need no longer play country boys, the theme of innocence triumphant over evil was still viable, despite a recognized need to adjust to changing mores. Ray was ready to return to happy, wholesome roles.

Pathé Exchange was taking on a few feature films on various terms, and a contract was signed on April 21, 1924 for Ray's exclusive screen appearances. Pathé was to advance up to $100,000 for each movie of 5-7 reels in length, and 50% of the cost beyond that up to $25,000 more, and could decide whether to accept the film, and could withdraw at any time. Ray was to receive 40% of the profits for four movies (eventually only two were produced, because of Ince's death: Dynamite Smith and Percy), along with $15,000 for five weeks during each production as part of its cost.

On October 12, Pathé released the first of the Ray movies, Dynamite Smith, and simultaneously with his comeback, lengthy autobiographical articles appeared in the November issues of Motion Picture Magazine and Photoplay Magazine. Ray starred as Gladstone Smith, a timid San Francisco reporter assigned to a murder case. Sympathizing with the killer's abused wife, Violet (Bessie Love), he flees with her to Alaska, where she dies. The husband, Slugger (Wallace Beery), follows them, finally captured in a bear trap, and the reporter escapes with her baby and meets Kitty (Jacqueline Logan). Like Ray's star-making role in The Coward, he plays a young man who must discover moral and physical courage. Ralph Ince directed C. Gardner Sullivan's scenario in seven reels for $113,086. In the words of Picture Show Annual in England, "Cinema patrons all over the world welcomed the return of Charles … now that he has come back to his old roles he will soon regain his position, for the simple reason that he has never had a rival in his own particular line."


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