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Hugh Roland is the manager of an African diamond mine, when Lord Stonehill and his daughter Diana arrive to visit the mine. He immediately takes a liking to the lovely Diana, but unfortunately they turn out to be imposters who seize a tray of diamonds and kidnap him while escaping to the desert. Not knowing how to survive in the desert, the two eventually must rely on Hugh to find water and get them out. Written by
Robert Tonsing <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film is a little bit different from Gilbert's other silent films. Usually Gilbert was cast in films in which there was a tremendous amount of action and/or romance. This time, much of the film is just Gilbert in a somewhat psychological battle against two thieves and the elements.
Gilbert plays Hugh Rand, manager of a South African diamond mine. He gets news that two visitors are due - Lord Stonehill and his daughter Diana. They arrive ahead of schedule, and against Rand's own predictions Lady Diana turns out to be a beautiful woman. However, it soon turns out that the two are imposters, but are found out by Rand before he can notify anyone else. The pair of thieves take off into the desert with their stolen diamond and their company of co-conspirators with Rand as hostage.
Things begin to go wrong for the thieves, and pretty soon it is just Rand and the two imposters on foot, in search of water before the sun of the desert does them in. Throughout their journey Rand is laughing off the situation as well as laughing at the two thieves, now suddenly penitent and afraid of death. Rand has a right to laugh - he has control of the last canteen of water.
Gilbert often reminds me - in this and his other silent films - of Errol Flynn, showing temper and passion when it is called for, but usually laughing in the face of danger, having a genuinely good time in whatever situation he is put, and inviting us to join in the adventure with him. I've often wondered what would have become of his career had he been ten years younger and started out in talking pictures instead of silent film. Would he have been MGM's answer to Flynn in the age of the swashbuckling picture? This film is highly recommended for the silent film enthusiast.
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