Fighting Hope (1915)

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Laura Hope Crews, the skitterish stage actress best known for her performance as Aunt Pitty-Pat in 1939's Gone with the Wind, made her screen debut in 1915's Fighting Hope (though many film historians list 1929's Charming Sinners as her first picture). Crews was cast as Anna, the wife of bank cashier Robert Granger (George Gebhardt). Accused of embezzlement, Granger is sent to prison early in the film. Convinced that the bank's president Burton Temple (Thomas Meighan) was responsible, Anna secures a job as the president's personal secretary to prove her theory. By and by, she realizes that she has been blinded by love; Granger was indeed the guilty party, while Temple was and is a bastion of virtue and honesty. And when the cornered Granger commits suicide after attempting to break out of jail, Temple makes certain that Anna will not long remain a widow. Fighting Hope did not launch the screen career of Laura Hope Crews, as originally intended, but it did wonders for the ever-increasing popularity of Thomas Meighan.