Garden of Allie (1917)

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Produced by the American Military Relief Association, the one-reel Garden of Allie was a tour de force for Broadway favorite Ernest Truex. Filmed in Chicago (where Truex was co-starring with Richard Bennett in the stage comedy The Very Idea), the story concerns an amateur gardener who tries to "do his bit" for the war effort, much like the Victory Gardeners of WWII. Alas, our hero is not the most competent of men, and his ineptitude is used as an "object lesson" for the would-be Home Farmers in the audience. Appearing in support of Truex was his real-life wife Sylvia Fine, who years later played Mrs. Wilson on the TV series Dennis the Menace, and several of the Truex children. At one time, it was announced that future American Military Relief Association films would feature such stage luminaries as Raymond Hitchcock, though it is unknown whether these plans came to fruition.