In the Service of the State

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Synopsis:  “Joseph” (Edgar Jones), despondent over the loss of his family in a train wreck, recklessly takes on a dangerous assignment as Sheriff and goes in search of a deadly outlaw. He soon finds virtuous “Molly” (Clara Williams), who is harboring a dark secret in the woods—her outlaw father, Burt Hawkins.  Joseph shoots him. Molly marries him anyway.

Leading the cast in these first Betzwood westerns were Edgar Jones and Clara Williams, both of whom were hired in 1912. Lubin had seen Jones performing in a western play in New York, decided that he looked like the cowboy in a Remington painting he owned, and hired Jones on the spot. Jones had no previous film experience. Clara Williams came to Lubin from the Essanay Company where she had appeared in a number of westerns. She was a skilled “female rough rider” and her riding abilities were used as often as possible in her pictures. Williams eventually went on to appear opposite famed cowboy star, William S. Hart, in the legendary classic, Hell’s Hinges.

Director Francis J. Grandon came to Lubin from Carl Laemmle’s Independent Motion Picture Company early in 1912. By virtue of his commanding personality, he was soon assigned the task of managing Lubin’s most unmanageable troupe—the cowboys. A skillful and experienced filmmaker, his films are better constructed and more coherent compared to other Lubin films of the time. He did not stay with Lubin long, however. When Lubin sent Grandon and his company to California in the winter of 1912-1913, Grandon abandoned cast and crew to take a job with Universal. Clara Williams went with him, also ending her association with Lubin.

Lubin Manufacturing Company, 1912. Directed by Francis J. Grandon. Starring Edgar Jones and Clara Williams.

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