The Happy Warrior, 1917
The Happy Warrior, 1917
Director: F. Martin Thornton
From the novel by A.S.M. Hutchinson
To avoid the usual troubles resulting from a marriage outside his social circle, Lord Burdon was married secretly to Audrey Oxford, the pretty young sister of the village post mistress, and very much against the latter’s wishes. The young couple lived in a flat in London under the name of Mr and Mrs Redpath, the middle name of his Lordship. Then war broke out and in some frontier fighting the gallant soldier was killed. The shock was too much for young Audrey, and she died in giving birth to an heir. On her death bed she told her sister how badly she had been treated by Mrs Letham, the wife of the next of kin to Lord Burdon, and presumed to be the heir to the estate, how she had disbelieved her story and ordered her out of the house, practically causing her death. Maggie, the postmistress, vowed vengeance on Mrs Letham, took home the little Percival to her humble abode and decided not to speak of his title to the Barony until he became 21 years old. Later on Percival has become a bosom friend of the heir Rollo and Dora. It was to Jaffra, a Gipsy, that Percival turned in the hour of trouble. He had come to manhood’s estate, he desired Dora, but his aunt Maggie on account of his real social position would never allow him to work telling him always to wait. At last, he would wait no longer, he sought out Dora, told her he was going to fight his way up and that he would come back for her. Dora assured him of her love and he joined the circus to which Jaffra was attached as a boxer, and under Jaffra’s skilful instruction, soon became a master and was known as “Jaffra’s Gentleman.” His circus career was full of thrills and fights, and he was rewarded with a partnership in the circus. He soon made good and returned to Dora, only to be told that her parents had insisted on her becoming engaged to Rollo, who was also against the engagement because he loved a very pretty Italian whom he met whilst on a holiday in Italy. In the end everybody is happy about the final denouement.
(Townsville Daily Bulletin, December 27, 1917)
The star of a new programme will be a five-act photo-play from the Clarendon Film Company, entitled “The Happy Warrior.” The theme is supplied by Wordsworth’s lines–“Who is the happy warrior, who is he, that every man in arms would wish to be?” The story tells of the secret marriage of Lord Brandon, his heroic death on the battlefield, and the birth in poverty of an heir who inherits his father’s fighting qualities. The son Percival, a strong and sturdy Briton, defends the weak, and has many a fight. He drifts into circus life, and becomes a famous boxer. The young hopeful’s circus life is a strenuous one, but he fights his way up, befriends all and sundry, marries the girl he loves, wins back his rightful title, and the happy warrior goes forth in joy to greater conquests.
(Barrier Miner Broken Hill, NSW, March 17, 1918)