The Mexican Villain

A Bit of Blue Ribbon
R: Rollin S. Sturgeon. B: Hanson Durham. D: Mary Charleson, Charles Bennett, Anne Schaefer, William Eagle Eye . P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1912/13
Print: EYE collection
Dutch titles

“Senor is only a horse, a thoroughbred, and winner of many blue ribbons. On account of old age, Jim Hartwell, the ranch owner, orders Steve, an employee, to take the old horse into the foothills and shoot him. Kitty, Hartwell’s daughter, loves old Senor and claims him for her personal property. Steve loves Kitty and refuses to shoot the horse. In anger, Hartwell discharges him. The ranch owner, mounting his horse, leads Senor to the foothills. He takes the bit of blue ribbon which Kitty had tied in Senor’s foretop, and throws it aside. Just as he raises his revolver to shoot, he sees a Mexican creeping towards his horse in the act of stealing it. He turns his attention towards the thief, who shoots Hartwell. Steve appears, and fires at the Mexican, who in turn, shoots Steve and escapes. Steve, not seriously wounded, turns his attention to Mr. Hartwell. The Mexican makes his way afoot across the hills and comes across a party of range riders. He notifies them that Hartwell is dead and that he saw Steve shoot him. Steve is found bending over Hartwell. Mr. Hartwell is taken back to his ranch and Steve is delivered to the sheriff. Hartwell regains consciousness, but has lost all recollection of what has happened. (…)”
Moving Picture World synopsis

“This is another Vitagraph filmed in California. By now the company had moved to a new studio in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, located near hills and open country: likely a factor in the move.. The film has what seems an unusual plot and the print we viewed was only 741 feet, apparently with missing shots and title cards. So the opening of the film is unclear. It seems that Kitty (Marty Charleson), the daughter of a ranch owner, has a favourite horse Seňor: she also has a human sweetheart, Steve (Robert Burns). The father Hartwell (Charles Bennett) orders Steve to shoot Seňor, though why is not clear.”
Early & Silent Film

Rollin S. Sturgeon on this website:
>>> The Courage of the Commonplace
>>> The Greater Love