Maggie Fortune ( Colleen Moore ), who lives in a boxcar near a railroad line being built through the desert, is cruelly treated by Mike Dyer ( Frank Brownlee ), her stepfather, and goes to the mining town of Bullfrog, where she encounters Rance Conway ( Lloyd Hughes ), a young derelict addicted to drink. Maggie attempts to get Rance to stop drinking, but he repeatedly falls off the wagon, until finally she shames him into accepting a grubstake from her. Rance goes prospecting and returns just as Mike Dyer arrives in town. Dyer is shot by an unknown assailant, and Rance takes the blame in order to protect Maggie; Maggie also confesses to the crime (to protect Rance), and the puzzled sheriff finally calls Dyer's death a suicide. Having cured himself of drunkenness, Rance, who turns out to be the son of wealthy parents, asks Maggie to marry him.
This 1925 western/drama starring Colleen Moore, had production halted when the actress suffered an injury while posing for a publicity photo. The handcar she was standing on, lurched out from under her feet, and Colleen landed on her head and neck. Thinking she was only suffering from a stiff neck, the actress was finally persuaded to go to the hospital and her head was placed in a cast and she was ordered to stay in bed for six weeks. Produced and released by First National Pictures, The Desert Flower remains a heart-breaking loss for silent cinema.
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