Based on a 1910 novel by Hamlin Garland, Cavanagh, Forest Ranger; a Romance of the Mountain West, this silent Western from Vitagraph starred former child actress Helene Costello as Virginia Weatherford, a college graduate returning after ten years in the East to her home in Sulfur Springs. Virginia's mother, the owner of a rooming house (Eulalie Jensen), has turned hard and uncaring in her absence and the girl finds comfort in her friendship with Ross Cavanagh (Kenneth Harlan), a forest ranger. The latter runs afoul of cattle baron Sam Gregg (William Walling), who resents a new tax on cattle grazing on government land. When Gregg sends his henchmen to "persuade" Cavanagh to see things his way, the ranger is rescued in the nick of time by Virginia. After bringing Gregg and his men to justice, Cavanagh marries Virginia and they return East. Later in 1925, the old Vitagraph was sold lock, stock, and barrel to the upstart Warner Bros. and Helene Costello would star in that company's -- and America's -- first "all-talkie" melodrama, Lights of New York (1929), the gangster melodrama that introduced the expression of taking someone "for a ride."
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