Tools of Providence (1915)

Dakota Dan, who runs the saloon and gambling hall, is refusing to take another drink with the boys, who commence to kid him, saying he's been scared to drink ever since he heard the new ... See full summary »


William S. Hart


Thomas H. Ince (story), C. Gardner Sullivan (scenario)


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Cast overview:
William S. Hart ... Steve Blake
Rhea Mitchell ... Daisy Austin
Walt Whitman Walt Whitman ... Rev. Austin (as Walter Whitman)


Dakota Dan, who runs the saloon and gambling hall, is refusing to take another drink with the boys, who commence to kid him, saying he's been scared to drink ever since he heard the new parson's daughter was going to convert him. Dakota flushes and replies half angrily that he has never seen the parson's girl and don't ever want to. However that afternoon Daisy goes to the saloon and invites Dakota to attend church. Dakota refuses her invitation. Daisy tells him she will make a bargain with him to tend his bar for five minutes if he will go to church the next day. Dakota is slightly startled, but he admires her grit and accepts the challenge. Daisy goes behind the bar. The men line up and she is about to serve a fresh guy when he suddenly reaches over and kisses her. Dakota immediately knocks him "cold," and, ashamed of his bargain with Daisy, grimly escorts her to the door. The next day he tells the men that if they don't accompany him to church he will close. They reluctantly ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama | Western







Release Date:

7 July 1915 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dakota Dan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Broncho Film Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in Sprockets: Saddle Up! (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

The Strong Silent Type
11 February 2015 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

When Frank Borzage speaks slightingly in a saloon of Rhea Mitchell, the Parson's daughter, William S. Hart fights him. Borzage is injured and Miss Mitchell thinks that Hart has broken his promise not to get in senseless fights. She breaks off their engagement. Hart is about to leave town when he sees Borzage trying have his way with Miss Mitchell.

The modern viewer may find this example of the Strong Silent Type a trifle confusing. Nowadays, everyone seems to spend all their time talking about their feelings. However, Hart's screen character was a successful attempt to bring a more complicated character to the screen. To a nickelodeon audience used to the stereotypes of the melodrama, villains were villains who never did anything but for a bad reason, and heroes were good people who never did anything until the final scene, and then only under the greatest of provocation. Hart's character of the Good Bad Man, ready for violence and capable of redemption, was very appealing and Hart was very adept at playing the character.

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