Battle of Hearts (1916)

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William Farnum plays Martin Cane, owner of a prosperous fleet of fishing boats. Not the nicest fellow on earth, Cane bullies and browbeats his employees mercilessly, but even they admit that he's the best fisherman on the Eastern seaboard. But Cane overestimates his abilities, and as a result his fleet is wiped out in a devastating storm. He stages a spectacular comeback -- and picks up some humility and humanity along the way -- when he rescues heroine Maida Rhodes from a treacherous smuggler. Maida was played by a twentysomething actress named Elda Furry, here making her screen debut. Later on, Elda adopted the name of her then-husband for professional purposes, rechristening herself Hedda Hopper. Some 25 years after Battle of Hearts was released, Hopper -- now a powerful Hollywood columnist -- featured excerpts from the film in an installment of her short subject series Hedda Hopper's Hollywood. Also appearing in this one-reel short was her old co-star William Farnum, and Hopper's actor son William Hopper, who (undoubtedly following the script) disdainfully dismissed Battle of Hearts with an "Ooooh -- How corny can you get?"