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Born the year the Civil War ended, William S. Hart actually experienced the Wild West that provided the setting for many of his movies. And when he finally switched from the Broadway stage to the silver screen, in 1914, Hart insisted on the real thing. He starred in films, which he often directed and sometimes wrote, that boasted naturalistic plots, authentic sets and costumes, and anti-heroic protagonists, often men of ill intentions who are ultimately redeemed. 1917’s The Narrow Trail is a classic Hart adventure, with the actor playing a man who falls for the niece of a vice lord, and it includes exemplary fight and horse-race sequences. That film screens tonight with 1920’s Cradle of Courage, made after upstarts such as Tom Mix had already challenged Hart’s cowboy-picture popularity. The latter is not a Western, but it has a characteristic plot: Hart plays a safecracker who becomes a policeman but can’t quite escape his disreputable past. The show begins at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. $5. (202) 547-6839. (Mark Jenkins)