Cheating the Public (1918)

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In this capital-versus-labor melodrama, John Dowling (Ralph Lewis) is a factory owner and food profiteer. When he cuts salaries and raises prices, his employees strike, but he sees no reason to meet their demands. Factory girl Mary Garvin (Enid Markey) goes to Dowling's house to convince him to change his mind, but he uses the opportunity to force himself on her. After a struggle, she pulls out a gun and shoots. Dowling dies, and Mary is put on trial for his murder. His son, Chester (Bertram Grassby) is horrified after hearing the testimony about his father's rotten character and is even more appalled when Mary is convicted. The night before Mary goes to the electric chair, Chester hears the factory's ex-foreman, Bull Thompson (Tom Wilson) drunkenly brag that he actually shot Dowling through a window that night. So Chester makes a mad dash for the governor's mansion and gets Mary a pardon in the nick of time. He and Mary wed and the factory becomes a much better workplace.