AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Ranson's Folly
Director: Sidney Olcott (Dir)
Release Date:   30 May 1926
Duration (in feet):   7,322
Duration (in reels):   8
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Cast:   Richard Barthelmess (Lieutenant Ranson)  
  with Dorothy Mackaill (Mary Cahill)  
    Anders Randolf (Cahill, the Post Trader)  
    Pat Hartigan (Sergeant Clancy)  
    William Norton Bailey (Lieutenant Crosby)  
    Brooks Benedict (Lieutenant Curtis)  
    Col. C. C. Smith, U.S.A. (Colonel Bolland)  
    Pauline Neff (Mrs. Bolland)  
    Billie Bennett (Mrs. Truesdale)  
    Frank Coffyn (Post Adjutant)  
    Capt. John S. Peters, U.S.A. (Judge advocate)  
    Taylor Duncan (Captain Car)  
    Jack Fowler (Colonel Patten)  
    E. W. Corman (Pop Henderson)  
    Bud Pope (Abe Fisher)  
    Forrest Seabury (Drummer)  
    Chief Eagle Wing (Indian Pete)  
    Chief Big Tree (Chief Standing Bear)  

Summary: Lieutenant Ranson, an adventuresome United States Army officer, finds life dreary at his outpost on the western frontier, though he is in love with Mary Cahill. Ranson decides to hold up the stagecoach as a harmless prank, disguised as the "Red Rider," a notorious bandit; in the stage are a Miss Post and her aunt, coming to visit Colonel Bolland. Ranson doubles back to the post, dons his dress uniform, and claims a dance with Miss Post. Word arrives that the paymaster, following the stage, has been shot by the "Red Rider" after the stage holdup; and concluding that Ranson is guilty, military police arrest him and confine him to his quarters, where he is visited by Mary, who alone believes him innocent. At the court-martial Mary's father gives evidence against Ranson; and realizing that he might be freed at Cahill's expense, Ranson pleads guilty. When Cahill discovers his daughter's love for Ranson, he confesses, but word is received of the guilty party's capture elsewhere. The course of true love is cleared. 

Production Company: Inspiration Pictures, Inc.  
Production Text: A Sidney Olcott Production
A First National Picture
Distribution Company: First National Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Sidney Olcott (Dir)
Writer: Lillie Hayward (Adpt)
Photography: David W. Gobbett (Photog)
Art Direction: Tecart Studios, Inc. (Settings)
Film Editor: Helene Warne (Film cutter)
Production Misc: Col. George L. Byram U.S.A. (Tech advisor)
Country: United States
Language: English

Source Text: Based on the novel Ranson's Folly by Richard Harding Davis (New York, 1902)and his play of the same name (New York, 18 Jan 1904).
Authors: Richard Harding Davis

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Inspiration Pictures, Inc. 4/5/1926 dd/mm/yyyy LP22672

Physical Properties: Si:

Genre: Romance
Subjects (Major): Courts-martial and courts of inquiry
  Frontier and pioneer life
  Military life
  Stagecoach robberies
  United States. Army

Note: Var reviewed the film twice, printing a favorable review on 2 Jun 1926 and a generally negative one on 9 Jun, which included the following statement: "This second review of a picture is brought about through a rule in the New York office of Variety that where two of the reveiwers disagree with the printed review of the picture, a second review shall follow."
       The Edison Mfg. Co. produced a two-reel adaptation of Richard Harding Davis's novel and play in 1910, starring William J. Sorelle. Another feature adaptation was produced by Thomas A. Edison Co. in 1915, directed by Richard Ridgley and starring Edward Earle (see entries). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   23 May 1926.   
New York Times   31 May 1926   p. 10.
Variety   2 Jun 1926   p. 14.
Variety   26 Jun 1926   p. 17.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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