The Smugglers of Santa Cruz

Release Date:   1/28/1916
Distributor:   Mutual
Reels:   3
Brand:   Clipper
Genre:   Drama
Director:   Donald MacDonald
Confirmed Cast:   William Russell, Charlotte Burton, J. Stewart
Story Summary:

Langdon, a revenue officer in search of smugglers operating along the coast of Santa Cruz Island, Cal., meets Verna, the daughter of the lighthouse keeper, and they fall deeply in love. Osborn, the chief of the smugglers, also loves Verna, although he is carrying on a clandestine affair with Jean whom he has promised to marry. Osborn's neglect and his attention to Verna rouse Jean's jealousy and in retaliation she betrays the smugglers' rendezvous to Langdon. Langdon surprises them and a fight follows. As Langdon and his men appear to have the upper hand, Osborn smashes the light and the smugglers escape. Langdon sends the confiscated goods to the revenue station and continues the search.

The love between Langdon and Verna grows. He tells her that some day he will call to her on the shell which she gives him and she promises to answer. Through his binoculars, Langdon discovers another hiding place of the smugglers and pursuing them is trapped in their cave and takes refuge in an empty cask. When all but three have gone, he covers them and escapes. Osborn's advances have been repelled by Verna and he hires Jed, one of the band, to abduct her. This plan is overheard by Jean, who hastens to inform Dale, Verna's father. Verna goes with Jed on his representation that her father has sent for her.

Langdon, hurrying to the lighthouse to telephone the revenue station, finds Jean unconscious. He revives her and she tells of Verna's abduction and Langdon rushes off to save her. In the fight with the smugglers which follows, Osborn is killed and Langdon fatally wounded, dying in Verna's arms. Across the sunset sea, Verna visions Langdon who appears at the prow of a phantom barge as he calls to her on the shell she responds and walks off the edge of the rock, meeting him at last in the calm sea.

Moving Picture World, January 22, 1916

Unique Occurrences:

Both the Point Concepcion light house and Santa Cruz Island were used for settings. Production took place in November of 1915.

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