Photo courtesy of Allison Shealy

AN IDYL OF THE HILLS

Released 5/13/15 by Universal/Rex; Director: Joseph De Grasse; Screenplay: uncredited, but probably Ida May Park; 2 reels

CAST: Pauline Bush (Kate Graham), Millard K. Wilson (Dick Massey), Lon Chaney (Lafe Jameson), William C. Dowlan (Frank Collins), Laura Oakley (Mrs. Graham)

SYNOPSIS: Kate Graham is the prettiest girl in Breathitt County in the mountains of Kentucky. Two men are in love with her: Lafe Jameson, the leader of a feared clan of moonshiners, and Dick Massey, a young man who longs for a better life. Dick is secretly learning to read, and one day Kate catches him with his primer and ridicules him to the point that he hides his book under a log and abandons his studies. Kate meets Frank Collins, a city man who is on vacation in the mountains, and she saves him from being bitten by a snake. She strikes up a friendship with Frank, but Lafe becomes violently jealous. Not wishing to stir up trouble, Frank writes Lafe a note saying that he has no interest in the girl, and bluntly describes her as crude and ignorant. Neither Kate not Lafe can read the note, so they take it to Collins for a translation. He tactlessly reads them the note, and Kate flies into a rage. Meanwhile, Lafe convinces the clan that Collins is a Revenuer and is there to collect evidence against them. Dick is elected to execute Frank, but when he arrives at the camp, Collins convinces him of his true identity. As Dick leaves, he hears a shot and sees Collins writhing on the ground wounded. Thinking that Kate has committed the crime, Dick confesses to the shooting, but Collins recovers and states that he shot himself accidentally. Kate realizes how much Dick loves her, and they go off to study his book together.

"This situation is unique and lifts and otherwise ordinary production considerably in plot interest. Lon Chaney does a good piece of character work in this." ---Moving Picture World


© 1996,2013 Jon C. Mirsalis


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