Brothers Divided (1919)

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Character actor Frank Keenan directed this picture in addition to playing a dual role. When Tom King (Keenan) is sent to prison for life, he entrusts his son Max to his brother Matthew (Keenan again). Matthew, a ruthless mill owner, tells Max that his father is dead, but about the time Max reaches adulthood (to be played by Wallace MacDonald), Tom's stellar behavior during a prison fire wins him a pardon. When Matthew subsequently suffers a paralytic stroke, Tom takes over his business and right away decides to be up front with the workers and admit that he is an ex-con. The laborers like him because of his honesty, but Max is ashamed of his father's past and can't even bear to face his sweetheart, Ruth Renaud (Ruth Langdon), so Tom gives him money to go away and study music. Matthew is concerned that Tom's softer treatment of the workers will ruin his business, but instead it flourishes. Matthew finally has to admit that his brother's way is better than his own, and Max returns, a proud son, to reunite with his girl.