Fugitive, The; Taking Of Luke McVane, The

THE FUGITIVE (The Taking of Luke McVane) (1915-usa). Starring and directed by William S. Hart, with Enid Markey. Produced by Thomas INCE. The twelfth film featuring William S. Hart as a cowboy hero, helping to establish him as the screen’s first important Western star. The tight-lipped, poker-faced actor plays Luke, a no-nonsense type who kills a man who cheats him at cards, then flees to the desert, pursued by a sheriff and his posse. After wounding the sheriff in a gunfight, LukeÑfollowing the WestÂern code of honorÑtakes the man to safety so that he will not die in the desert. The two join forces for a climactic battle with a band of savage Indians. All the ingredients of the classic Western were established here, long before they became clichŽs: the bad guy who turns out to be noble after all, the dance hall girl with a heart (no pun intended) of gold, the sinister Mexican, the blazing guns (and saddles), the horses galloping in a cloud of dust over the horizon, even the redskins riding around the heroes in a “circle of death.” This exÂciting, visually sophisticated movie is one of the finest early models of our most enduring screen genre. Silent film with music score, correct projection speed. 36 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Western