A Dash of Courage (1916)

William Mason, Harry Gribbon, Wallace Beery and Raymond Griffith in A DASH OF COURAGE (1916)

William Mason, Harry Gribbon, Wallace Beery and Raymond Griffith.

A DASH OF COURAGE (Keystone-Two parts-May 7) The cast: Harry Gribbon, Wallace Beery, Guy Woodward, Gloria Swanson and William Mason.

A band of crooks, headed by Harry Gribbon, are on a train when they learn of a telegram sent to a fellow passenger, who is a police commissioner. The wire identifies him as official collector for the Old Cops' Home. A little chloroform does for him and when the train pulls out of his destination he is still on board while Gribbon is posing as the commissioner-collector.

Great preparations have been made to receive the distinguished visitor. The only drawback to the welcome is the sour music dispensed by the police band. The musicians are sent upstairs in the police station to practice some more, and here they are found by Gribbon's associates. A quart of chloroform poured while they are asleep the crooks exchange clothing with them.

During the interruption Gribbon has begun his collecting by attempting to rob the safe of the richest man in town. Woodward telephones for the police and the crooks respond. They suggest that he wait until the culprit has the money, which can be used as evidence. Gribbon is then arrested by his own men. Woodward suspicious after a long wait, again telephones to the station and is answered by the real police, who have revived. Their pursuit is complicated by the fact that they are wearing the clothes which belong to the pursued. A combination of thrills and laughs brings the picture to a close.

Moving Picture World, May 27, 1916, p. 1582.


 "A DASH OF COURAGE" (Keystone)

Speeding automobiles are stout stone walls combine to produce some laughable thrills in "A Dash of Courage," a current farce from Mack Sennett's studios destined for release on the Triangle programme. Harry Gribbon and his fellow funmakers happily survived situations in which they were spilled rather promiscuously over the landscape.

The trouble all started when Harry and his crook band got hold of a telegram delegating a police commissioner to make collections for the Old Cops' Home. Harry takes his place and begins to collect by wholesale from the safe of the richest man in town. As his men have chloroformed the police force and taken their uniforms it is a motley crew that responds to the victim's call for help. The supposed police suggest that he wait until the robber has got the money, which can be produced as evidence. After the success of this ruse they start to make their escape.

Meanwhile the regular police have been revived and lead the chase when a second call for help comes. New automobiles will be needed if Sennett wants to repeat the chase but the stone wall still stands to test the mettle of any venturesome Keystoner who wants to match his skull against the rock.

 Moving Picture World, May 6, 1916, p. 995.


 "A Dash of Courage"

Triangle-Keystone Released May 7. Reviewed by Thomas C. Kennedy

"A DASH OF COURAGE" tells amusingly the story of a silk-hatted crook's adventures in a small town where he is received with open arms by the villagers, who think him a duly authorized collector for the police pension fund. Harry Gribbon is the crook, who, living up to the best traditions of the melodramatic villain, wins the affections of the heiress, thus incurring the enmity of a youth of the town.

Undoubtedly the incidents in the mad chase for the crooks who attempt to make a get-away in the police patrol flivver are the surest laugh provokers of any in the picture, but previous to this dash, which comes at the end of the show, one finds many really humorous moments, and the picture tells a story that is always interesting; in fact, a story with such continuity that is always interesting; in fact, a story with such continuity as this one has is quite unusual in farce of the Keystone type.

Harry Gribbon in the leading role wins the acting honors, but the others in the cast are not far outdistanced. Gloria Swanson is much in the foreground as the heiress, and Wallace Beery is a good police captain for the purposes of comedy. William Mason and Guy Woodward are also commendable, while the leader of the police band, whose name is not to be found in the cast, adds somewhat to the general fun this picture contains. "A Dash of Courage" reaches the standard of a good Keystone offering.

Motography, June 3, 1916, p. 1281

Hugh Fay, whose make-up as the Rube in "A Dash of Courage" was so good...

Motion Picture Magazine, May, 1917, p. 36

with Harry Gribbon, Wallace Beery, Gloria Swanson, Bobby Vernon, William Mason, and Raymond Griffith. Directed by Charles Parrott (Charley Chase). Keystone/Triangle.

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Public Domain Mark
This work (A Dash of Courage (1916), by Keystone / Triangle), identified by Bruce Calvert, is free of known copyright restrictions.


The Films of Mack Sennett by Warren M. Sherk, p. 44.

Kops and Custards: The Legend of Keystone Films, by Kalton C. Lahue and Terry Brewer, p. 157, 195.

Smile When the Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony and Andy Edmonds, p. 196.

The Films of Gloria Swanson by Lawrence J. Quirk, pp.46-47.

Swanson on Swanson by Gloria Swanson, p. 66.

Last Modified June 3, 2012