A silent Western in the grand old tradition of William S. Hart and Harry Carey, The Grail presented a near epic story of crime and redemption. Dustin Farnum starred as Chic Shelby, a Texas Ranger chasing a couple of outlaws -- John Trammel (Jack Rollens) and his son James (James Gordon -- accused of killing a cattleman in the eternal struggle between ranchers and homesteaders. Chic tricks John out of his hiding place by pretending to be an itinerant preacher. The hardened outlaw is so moved by Chic's sermon on eternal love that he comes forward willingly and is arrested. Sam Hervey (Leon Bary), meanwhile, kills James over a girl (Alma Bennett) and pins the blame on Chic. The latter clears himself by capturing Hervey, John is acquitted because of his newfound faith, and lovely Dora Bledsoe (Peggy Shaw) prepares to make a home for the returning ranger. Dustin Farnum, who had starred in the first feature film to be produced in Hollywood proper, The Squaw Man (1914), suffered ill health in his later years and retired in 1924. He returned to play George Armstrong Custer in The Flaming Frontier (1926), but he died from kidney failure at the age of 53 in 1929.
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