Electioneering Fraud Part of Ince's Portrayal of Corruption in Contemporary American Life
Social protest of contemporary American life, ranging from immigrants in THE Italian to backwoods folk IN THE TENNESSEE HILLS, were a regular part of producer Thomas Ince's story lines in the mid-1910s, as I outline in my biography of Ince. The two reel JIMMY (Domino, 1914), lauded a doctor who found time to help operate on the poor, choosing the needs of his patient over profit. Nearly as harsh a view of class differences is to be found in A POLITICAL FEUD (Domino, 1914). Dick Walton, son of the laundress of the family of spoiled Tom Kent, protects the family's daughter when they are children. She never forgets.
Ten years later, despite working his way through college, it is Dick who is the valedictorian. She congratulates Dick and his proud mother. Eventually Dick and Tom, now a corrupt politician, face off in an election; Dick receives a timely warning of planned electioneering tricks by her brother that allow Dick to win in a landslide. However, there is no happy romantic union at the close of the two reel film; friendship is the most that can exist between Dick and Tom's sister, and it seems unlikely that she will ever marry. Her brother is broken, a failure, while Dick enjoys the success his aptitude and determination have earned.
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