City (1916)

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Clyde Fitch's long-running stage play The City was captured on film in 1916. The central character is George Rand Jr. (Thurlow Bergen), the dissolute, drug-addicted bastard son of a prominent banker (William Riley Hatch). At least, he was the bastard son in the original play. For the purposes of the film, it turns out that George is actually the offspring of a small-town scoundrel, enabling George Rand Sr. to emerge from the film as a sympathetic character. This alteration considerably watered down the impact of the play's "money scene," wherein George Jr. discovered that the girl he loves is actually his own sister. Even back in 1916, films were subjected to radical excisions and eviscerations at the whims and caprices of the censors.