Movie herald (advertising brochure) for the 1920 Paramount-Artcraft feature, "The Cradle of Courage," starring William S. Hart.
It's heralding a run at a theater in Montgomery County, New York, May 13-14. No year indicated, but probably 1921; the film premiered on Broadway in September 1920.
Produced by William S. Hart Company; distributed by Paramount-Artcraft; New York premiere September 19, 1920; released October 17, 1920; ©July 26, 1920; five reels (4737 feet).
Directed by Lambert Hillyer; screenplay by Lambert Hillyer from a story by Frederick Bradbury; photographed by Joe August; art director, J.C. Hoffner; art titles by Harry Barndollar.
CAST: William S. Hart ("Square" Kelly); Ann Little (Rose Tierney); Thomas Santschi (Tierney); Gertrude Claire (Mother Kelly); Francis Thorwald (Jim Kelly); George Williams (Lieutenant Riley).
SYNOPSIS: From the "Cradle of Courage" (the American Expeditionary Force in Europe) comes back to San Francisco "Square" Kelly with a fine record though a former leader of a gang of crooks. His chum is the son of a police captain, and the latter feels so kindly disposed toward "Square" that he offers the ex-burglar a place on the force. None of "Square's" friends is at the wharf to meet him, and he feels inclined to make a complete change in his life. On encountering them at their hangout, however, they convince him there is only one existence possible, and enlist his services in a prospective raid. His own mother encourages this, but not Rose, adopted daughter of gang leader Tierney. It is this girl, who has preserved a clean mind in unclean surroundings, who decides the future of "Square."
Once in police service, after a bitter struggle with Tierney, "Square" lays for his former confederates at a house they intend to rob. He finds Rose lurking there and unjustly accuses her of hypocrisy, whereas she has haunted the place to save him from being "croaked." He finally traps the gang at work and, in a running fight, his own brother is killed. "Square" does not have this to soil his career, for the shot was fired by one of the gang when the erring brother refused to shoot "Square." In plain clothes "Square" visits his mother and reveals that the crooks were responsible for the killing and converts her to his better ideals. He also dares invade the den of the gang. He is badly wounded there but he breaks up the gang and is rescued by Rose. By her and his transformed mother he is nursed back to health. In the true love of loyal Rose he finds reason to be profoundly glad that he has been taught to master himself. (Moving Picture World, October 2, 1920.)
REVIEWS: ... The change in surroundings has ... provided the star with the opportunity to render a characterization of unusual strength but regrettably the story is weak in general material while a brace of important dramatic situations fall short of ringing true. [The] direction [is] generally satisfactory but action is strung out too much. (Wid's, September 26, 1920.)
Hart is too distinctly an American type to play the part of an Irishman, but he makes a manly attempt to bring out of the story an interest in expressing his better self, and he succeeds in doing so through sheer force of personality. This is all the more difficult because there is nothing in his sober and intense physiognomy to suggest the rollicking and devil-may-care Irishman of tradition ... while the love interest is slight, Ann Little gives it full value with dignity and rare sympathetic insight. Her performance adds greatly to the charm of a story that is mostly about the misdeeds of men. ... (Louis Reeves Harrison, Moving Picture World, October 2, 1920.)