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The Runaway (1926) - Heart-Breaking Loss

Author: Pamela Short from Canada
8 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is my ambition to add as many silent film synopsis of films that have a survival status of unknown or presumed lost. I try to do as much research as I can and it is not my intention to deceive anyone, for sometimes the film does exist. I am more than delighted if someone has knowledge of a film listed as lost but survives, as I wish all silent films did survive. I hope the reader enjoys this brief synopsis.

Cynthia ( Clara Bow ), an ambitious young film actress who seeks advancement through Jack Harrison ( William Powell ), flees the movie location in Tennessee when Jack is shot by an accidental pistol discharge, knowing she will be unable to prove her innocence of the act. Wade Murrell ( Warner Baxter ), a Kentucky mountaineer, finds her lying in the road and agrees to help her across the state border into Kentucky; she accepts his protection, and he takes her to his home. Lesher Skidmore ( George Bancroft ), leader of a clan opposed to the Murrells, promotes strife against Murrell by announcing the arrival of a "painted woman," but Wade protects her against his enemies. Just as Cynthia, sensing Wade's growing love, decides to leave, Harrison arrives, becomes friends with Wade, and saves his life in a feuding clash. Jack asks the girl to return and marry him; Wade accedes; but at the last minute Cynthia decides in favour of Wade.

This 1926 silent drama was based from the novel The Flight to the Hills by Charles Neville Buck, directed by William C. de Mille for the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. The film starred Clara Bow, Warner Baxter, William Powell and George Bancroft. The Runaway remains a heart-breaking loss for fans of silent cinema and Clara Bow. Hopefully a copy survives and resurfaces.

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