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HISTORY

The 12 Mar 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “It may appear funny under some circumstances to hold up a stage coach. In the picture here shown it would not have been so funny for Ranson if the real robber’s daughter had not been in love with him. The love story is the saving episode in this tragedy and supplies the necessary dramatic interest. The picture is excellent in its reproduction of frontier life, illustrating numerous features which are interesting from the scenic standpoint, apart from supplying a background for a story. The acting is admirable, and the clear tones of the photography help materially in making the picture attractive. Altogether it is a thrilling picture, representing certain phases of plains life not fully understood in many localities.”
       The 29 Jan 1910 Moving Picture World announced that Edison “has completed the first of the pictures, the stories of which are being written for it by Richard Harding Davis, the celebrated artist.... The picture is sure to create world-wide interest because of the prominence of the writer and the popularity of the book. The Edison people promise that all the military dash and spirit of the original story has been preserved in its pictorial form, in which it has been interpreted through the medium of an excellent cast of actors.”
       An item under “Edison Notes” in the 5 Feb 1910 Moving Picture World stated that the “scenario form” of Ranson’s Folly was prepared by the author, Richard Harding Davis.
       See also the remakes of Ranson's Folly in 1915, starring Marc McDermott, and again in 1926, starring ... More Less

The 12 Mar 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “It may appear funny under some circumstances to hold up a stage coach. In the picture here shown it would not have been so funny for Ranson if the real robber’s daughter had not been in love with him. The love story is the saving episode in this tragedy and supplies the necessary dramatic interest. The picture is excellent in its reproduction of frontier life, illustrating numerous features which are interesting from the scenic standpoint, apart from supplying a background for a story. The acting is admirable, and the clear tones of the photography help materially in making the picture attractive. Altogether it is a thrilling picture, representing certain phases of plains life not fully understood in many localities.”
       The 29 Jan 1910 Moving Picture World announced that Edison “has completed the first of the pictures, the stories of which are being written for it by Richard Harding Davis, the celebrated artist.... The picture is sure to create world-wide interest because of the prominence of the writer and the popularity of the book. The Edison people promise that all the military dash and spirit of the original story has been preserved in its pictorial form, in which it has been interpreted through the medium of an excellent cast of actors.”
       An item under “Edison Notes” in the 5 Feb 1910 Moving Picture World stated that the “scenario form” of Ranson’s Folly was prepared by the author, Richard Harding Davis.
       See also the remakes of Ranson's Folly in 1915, starring Marc McDermott, and again in 1926, starring Richard Barthelmess. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
LCMP
p. 50, column 1.
Moving Picture News
5 Mar 1910
p. 15tl.
Moving Picture World
29 Jan 1910
p. 125tn.
Moving Picture World
5 Feb 1910
p. 175tn.
Moving Picture World
26 Feb 1910
p. 302tn, 304ar, 310ada, 316tl.
Moving Picture World
5 Mar 1910
p. 347tl, 349ts, 350ta.
Moving Picture World
12 Mar 1910
p. 383tr.
New York Clipper
29 Jan 1910
p. 1275ar.
New York Clipper
5 Feb 1910
p. 1299ar.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITERS
Story and scr
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 March 1910
Copyright Claimant:
Edison Mfg. Co.
Copyright Date:
1 March 1910
Copyright Number:
J138818-J138821
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
995 , 1000
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

“Lieut. Ranson has drifted into the American Army, not from patriotism nor from necessity, but entirely from the spirit of adventure. After many exciting episodes he finds himself quietly stationed in a frontier fort; things are far too sedate to suit his ‘devil-may-care’ nature. So one evening, midst falling in love with the post trader’s daughter and listening to the stories of college pranks by the West Point officers, his eyes chance to fall upon the sign posted: ‘Reward! $500 for the capture dead or alive of “Red Rider,” the Stage-Coach Robber!’ Ranson laughingly jests that holding up a stagecoach is a very simple matter, and to prove the fact he lays a wager that upon this very night he himself will hold up the incoming stage with only a pair of shears as a weapon. Taking an oilskin coat to hide his uniform and a red handkerchief to cover his face, he starts on his lark, as he terms it. Scarcely has he gone before orders are received that Paymaster Patten will be aboard the coach, and a detachment of cavalry is to meet him and escort him in. Now the folly of Ranson takes a serious turn. There is a vast difference between holding up a stagecoach and one with a Government paymaster aboard who always shoots to kill. The officers go forth to do their duty regardless of consequences, but all this has been overheard by the post trader himself, who is no other than the real ‘Red Rider,’ the stagecoach robber. He sees his chance and, disguising himself identically the same as Ranson, starts out on his mission. Fate changes things around; the paymaster misses ... +


“Lieut. Ranson has drifted into the American Army, not from patriotism nor from necessity, but entirely from the spirit of adventure. After many exciting episodes he finds himself quietly stationed in a frontier fort; things are far too sedate to suit his ‘devil-may-care’ nature. So one evening, midst falling in love with the post trader’s daughter and listening to the stories of college pranks by the West Point officers, his eyes chance to fall upon the sign posted: ‘Reward! $500 for the capture dead or alive of “Red Rider,” the Stage-Coach Robber!’ Ranson laughingly jests that holding up a stagecoach is a very simple matter, and to prove the fact he lays a wager that upon this very night he himself will hold up the incoming stage with only a pair of shears as a weapon. Taking an oilskin coat to hide his uniform and a red handkerchief to cover his face, he starts on his lark, as he terms it. Scarcely has he gone before orders are received that Paymaster Patten will be aboard the coach, and a detachment of cavalry is to meet him and escort him in. Now the folly of Ranson takes a serious turn. There is a vast difference between holding up a stagecoach and one with a Government paymaster aboard who always shoots to kill. The officers go forth to do their duty regardless of consequences, but all this has been overheard by the post trader himself, who is no other than the real ‘Red Rider,’ the stagecoach robber. He sees his chance and, disguising himself identically the same as Ranson, starts out on his mission. Fate changes things around; the paymaster misses the stagecoach and follows shortly after in a private carriage. Lieut. Ranson carries out his threat, reaches the stagecoach first, holds it up with a pair of shears and is flirting with the ladies, when he is interrupted by the arrival of the detachment of cavalry. Ranson has succeeded in making his escape unidentified, when suddenly the cavalry hear firing down the road. They arrive just in time to find an overturned carriage, the driver dead and Paymaster Patten defending himself behind the vehicle. The robber is wounded in the hand, but escapes. That night Lieut. Ranson comes gallantly swinging into the officers’ quarters, with a gleam of mirth sparkling in his eyes. A toast is proposed, but suddenly interrupted by the entrance of a detachment of soldiers and the sharp order, ‘You are under arrest, Lieut. Ranson, charged with stopping the stagecoach, holding up Paymaster Patten and killing the driver.’ Ranson is dumbfounded when in a few minutes he finds himself under guard in his own quarters, a prisoner. Needless to say that by chance it is discovered that two black-coated figures rode forth in the moonlight that night. And when ‘Red Rider,’ otherwise the post trader, finds that his daughter is in love with Ranson, the man whom he is trying to condemn, and realizes that his daughter’s happiness lies in Ranson’s vindication, he reveals the truth to Ranson. In the midst of the exciting scene the old post trader steals from the room. A pistol shot rings out and a tiny curl of smoke steals from above the curtain of the door. Then a moment later the tragedy of ‘Ranson’s Folly’ is revealed.”—5 Feb 1910 Moving Picture World +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.