Lincoln Highwayman — the film

In  discussing this summer’s journeys of James Devitt Jr., aka the Lincoln Highwayman, I mentioned a film The Lincoln Hiighwayman, based on a 1917 one-act play written by Paul Dickey. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1919 movie released by William Fox Film Corp. It featured William Russell (b. 1886), wh0 Fandango describes: “Although largely forgotten today, virile-looking, six-foot, two-inch William Russell was one of the most popular stars of early American films…. succumbing to pneumonia at the young age of 42.” Other credits to the film can be found at IMDB. A brief review of the play can be found in this April 1917 clipping from The New York Times.

You can purchase the movie still shown below from

Fandango reprints a synopsis by Janiss Garza in All Movie Guide. Being on “a coastal highway” makes it sound likes it’s not the Lincoln Highway:

The Lincoln highwayman is terrorizing motorists on a coastal highway and the latest victims are a San Francisco banker and his family on their way to a party. While the masked highwayman holds them up at gun point and steals the women’s jewels, the banker’s daughter Marian (Lois Lee) finds herself strangely attracted to him. When the family finally arrives at the party, they tell the guests their tale. Steele, a secret service man (Edward Piel), takes an interest in their encounter and starts working on the case. Jimmy Clunder (William Russell), who arrives late is talking to Marian when a locket falls out of his pocket. Marian recognizes it, and Clunder claims that he found it on the road. She begins to suspect that he is the highwayman, as does Steele, Clunder’s rival for Marian’s love.

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One Response to “Lincoln Highwayman — the film”

  1. lincolnhighwayman Says:

    Thanks for posting this, Brian. I’ve hearde about this film before but this is the first tiime I’ve seen that vintage still photo.

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