To the tough western town named Hell's Hinges come the Rev. Robert Henley and his sister, Clara Williams. Silk Miller, the crafty saloon and gambling-house keeper, stirs up sentiment against the better element. Some rough men and women interrupt the service. Blaze Tracy, a notorious gun man, drives the bunch out of the church when one of the men insults Faith. Silk decoys Henley to his saloon, where Dolly, one of the dance hall girls, induces him to drink till he is intoxicated. Blaze goes away to a nearby town to fetch an organ for the church. On his return he finds the church burned down, Henley killed and Faith brokenhearted over the disaster that has come to the good element. In fury Blaze shoots the treacherous Silk, sets the saloon on fire and sees the flames wipe out the town as the result of a high wind. He takes Faith away with him, saying that their future would henceforth lie beyond the mountains.Written by
Moving Picture World synopsis
"Big Bill" is once more that terrible two-handed gunman whom you all love so well-and what he does to the "gang" who tried to do him "dirt" makes a cyclone look like an ordinary summer breeze. (Print Ad- Duluth Herald,((Duluth, Minn.)) 9 February 1918)
Hell's Hinges is an early silent William S. Hart Western that sees Hart co-direct himself with Charles Swickard. He stars as Blaze Tracy, a gun-slinger who falls for a pastor's sister (Clara Williams) when she and her inadequate brother arrive in Hell's Hinges to preach the gospel. Once he catches her eye, this town will never be the same again.
"Shoot first and do your disputin afterwards"
Although a touch too heavy on the religious moral retribution angle, where the good-badman has his epiphany and the town of Hell's Hinges becomes a battle of the church against, well, this devil's den of iniquity, Hell's Hinges flies by. Acted superbly by Hart, a one time stage performer who was a hugely popular silent star of the time, film is full of action, often violent and closes down with a memorable bang. Jack Standing is suitably shifty as the hopeless parson (by parental pressure) easily led astray, and Williams provides some much needed emotional thrust when the film veers to being over preachy. 7/10
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