By directing his own features and straying from the rube character that brought him fame, Charles Ray had been slowly committing career suicide. But his downhill slide slowed -- at least temporarily -- with this quality comedy-drama set in the California orange groves. The residents of Citrona, California are upset because of the farmers' use of smudge pots to keep their crops warm during cold snaps -- they claim that the soot is ruining their clothes and furnishings. Newspaper editor Stephen Stanton (Ray), who just graduated from an Eastern college, is in agreement with the residents, much to the chagrin of his father, John (Charles K. French), who happens to be one of the growers. Stephen finds himself up against some powerful politicians, who have him kidnapped along with Marie Clement (Ora Carew), a woman helping him in his fight. This move promises to destroy Stephen's integrity and Marie's reputation at the same time, but the couple escape on the eve of the election. Stephen has invented a smokeless heater, and it helps both sides come to a peaceful agreement.
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