Don't Write Letters (1922)

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Although this romantic comedy wasn't based on a specific real-life story, during World War I many girls did just what Anna May Jackson (Bartine Burkett) did here. When department store clerk Robert Jenks (Gareth Hughes) enlists to fight in the Great War, his small stature keeps him far from the heroic firing line. Instead he winds up in the mess shack as a cook. As a joke, his pals give him a shirt that's far too large for him. Inside the pocket is a note from the factory girl who made it, asking the wearer, who she imagines as a big Westerner, to write. So Jenks starts writing to Anna May, pretending to be just what she had pictured. After the war's end, Jenks returns home to the department store, and to reality. Because he can't bring himself to tell Anna May the truth, he says that her big Western sweetheart died bravely in battle. The girl grieves so that when a big Westerner walks into the department store, Jenks asks him to play the girl's sweetheart. He agrees, but the real story eventually comes out and Anna May decides that the smaller Jenks is the man for her.

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Keywords

army, clerk, con/scam, hero, letter, marriage, romance, seduction, soldier