The Bargain (1914 film)
Directed by Reginald Barker
Screenplay by William H. Clifford, Thomas Ince
Starring William S. Hart
Cinematography Robert Newhard
Joseph H. August
New York Motion Pictures Corp.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)
The Bargain is a 1914 American Western film starring William S. Hart. It was the first feature film starring Hart, who would go on to become the most popular Western actor of the silent film era. In 2010, it was added to the National Film Registry.
William S. Hart as Jim Stokes
J. Frank Burke as Sheriff Bud Walsh
Clara Williams as Nell Brent
J. Barney Sherry as Phil Brent
Joseph J. Dowling as Reverend Joshua Wilkes
A portion of The Bargain was filmed at the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
In 1918, a revised version of the film was submitted for review by the Chicago Board of Censors that had scenes in which the Sheriff released a prisoner to holdup gamblers and associated intertitles were eliminated, and new intertitles and scenes with newspaper articles stating that the sheriff and bandit had paid the penalty for their crimes had been inserted. A version cut from 7 to 5 reels was distributed prior to 1920, and in 1920 Hart's production company released it under the title The Two-Gun Man in the Bargain.
William S. Hart's third film and his first multi-reel western, The Bargain tells a familiar Hart tale of a good-bad man redeemed by the love of a woman -- in this case the sturdy-looking Clara Williams. When stage robber "Two-Gun" Jim Stokes (Hart) is wounded during a heist, he finds a willing nurse in the naive Nell (Williams). They fall in love and marry. Wedded bliss changes the former villain, and he attempts to return the stolen goods. Arriving back in town, Stokes is apprehended by the sheriff who then promptly loses the recovered valuables at the gaming table. Having discovered the hard way how alike they really are, lawman and prisoner strike the bargain of the title: If the sheriff will let him go, Stokes will recover the money. He does just that -- by robbing the gambling house -- and is arrested once again. But the sheriff, keeping his end of the bargain, releases the now truly repentant Stokes to the forgiving Nell.
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