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The Ragged Earl ()

  • Country:
  • Genres: ,
  • Release: 1914-10-12
  • Director: Lloyd B. Carleton
  • Writers: Harry Chandlee , Arthur Shaw Clifton , Joseph Humphries , Benjamin S. Kutler
  • Language: None | English
  • Stars: Andrew Mack , William Conklin , Ormi Hawley , Eleanor Dunn , Edward Peil Sr.
  • Runtime: min
  • Awards: N/A
  • AKA: The Ragged Earl (United States of America) , The Ragged Earl
  • Plot: Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, whose estates are down-at-heel and out-at-elbows, owing to the improvidence of his ancestors, is known as "the ragged earl." Though creditors press and bailiffs threaten, he meets his problems with a laugh, trusting to a kind providence and his solicitors in Dublin to provide for his future. It had been the plan of Gerald's father that he marry a wealthy cousin, but the young Earl had always thought of marriage as a necessary evil in the life of every man, to be put off as long as possible. He heartily disapproved of a marriage prearranged. Bills have been piling up, however, and when he calls upon his solicitors for a remittance, he is surprised to receive a letter from them, enclosing the sum of twenty-three pounds, which is all that remains of the quarterly rent collection from the estate. In the letter, his solicitors respectfully suggest that it would be well for him to consider an early marriage with his cousin, in accordance with his father's wishes. Though he dislikes the idea, Gerald is forced to admit that it is the only means of saving the ancestral estates. At the nearby castle live Sir Henry Hardcastle, his mother, Mrs. Fitzmaurice, and her stepdaughters, Kathleen and Una. Sir Henry is also in financial difficulties, and aided by his mother, is endeavoring to persuade Kathleen to marry Lord Wildbrook, a wealthy old roué, who is willing to pay Sir Henry handsomely for his influence with the girl. Kathleen is heartbroken at the prospect, and after a stormy scene with her step-brother, disguises herself as a boy, and runs away, taking Una with her. In the morning Sir Henry discovers their flight, and sends one of his retainers, Ralph Forrester, after them. Ralph overtakes them, and is about to force them to return, when Gerald, who has heard Kathleen's screams, appears. He drives Ralph off, and takes the two girls to Kilkare Castle, never suspecting that Kathleen is other than she appears, a very handsome boy. At the castle Kathleen's manner arouses the suspicions of Sarah McHugh, the motherly old woman who had been Gerald's nurse, and who still thinks him a mere boy, in need of her protection and advice. She discovers Kathleen's true sex, but, greatly attracted by the girl, promises to keep it a secret from Gerald. The Ragged Earl has decided to contract the marriage with his cousin and writes a letter to his aunt, requesting permission to call upon them in Dublin. This letter falls into the hands of Ralph, who has been sent by Wildbrook and Sir Henry to kidnap the girls, with promises of a large reward if he succeeds. Ralph manages to reach Kathleen and shows her the letter. Gerald has already awakened her love, and when she sees this evidence of his intention to marry, she agrees to return with Ralph. That night she steals from the castle, with the sleeping Una in her arms, and returns to her step-brother's house. When Gerald learns of their departure, he makes a formal call upon Sir Henry, inquiring for "Edward," the name under which Kathleen has posed as a boy, but is told that "there is no such person as Edward in the castle." He is forced to accept this as the truth, and, believing that Kathleen has gone elsewhere, he returns to Kilkea. There he tells Sarah of his failure, and she, suspecting the truth, goes to Hardcastle's, where she sees Kathleen. She tells Gerald that the boy is there, and he dashes off with Larry and Patrick, two of his retainers, to rescue "Edward." When he arrives, he scales the balcony to the great hall of the castle, where he finds Kathleen in her true person. When he realizes that the "beautiful boy" is really an even more beautiful girl, he is determined to rescue her. He succeeds in abducting Wildbrook. and in getting Kathleen out of the castle in the care of Larry and Patrick, but his own escape is cut off by Ralph Forrester and Sir Henry. In the fight which follows, Gerald is disarmed. He is at the mercy of Sir Henry's blade when he spies a suit of ancient armor supported by a huge two-handed sword. He overturns tables and chairs in Sir Henry's path, reaches the armor and secures the sword. Fighting off his opponents, he manages to cut his way through the great window and escape. Gerald's retainers and peasants have been aroused by Sarah, and have come to his assistance. A fierce battle is in progress between his men and the Hardcastle retainers. The clubs of Gerald's forces are no match for the Hardcastle swords, however, and his men are slowly beaten off. Kathleen is enraptured by Sir Henry, and is taken to the castle. Gerald escapes and is returning to Kilkea, discouraged, when he overtakes Wildbrook, who is fleeing in terror. He conceives a plan and in a secluded spot he forces Wildbrook to change clothes with him. Then he returns to Sir Henry's castle. He learns that Kathleen has been taken to a neighboring church, and that a servant has been sent to find Wildbrook. in order that the marriage may take place at once. Believing Gerald to be the old Lord, the servant tells him to hurry to the church. He reaches the chapel, and manages to disclose his real identity to Kathleen and the priest. Kathleen of course agrees to the marriage, much to the surprise of Sir Henry. As the party leaves the church, Lord Wildbrook, dressed in Gerald's clothes, stumbles in. In the darkness he is mistaken for Gerald, and is nearly killed by Ralph before he can make himself known. When his identity is learned, Gerald is made a prisoner, but is saved by Mrs. Fitzmaurice, who arrives, declaring that he has fairly won Kathleen. She gives her blessing to the Earl and Countess of Kildare.
  • IMDB:tt0004509
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