Golden Idiot (1917)

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Bryant Washburn's starring career was in full swing when he appeared in this lighthearted Essanay picture. The eccentric but very wealthy Woolwich prepares his will so that his entire fortune will go to one of his two nephews, Barry Owen (Washburn) or Walter Woolwich -- whoever has the most money saved when Woowich dies. Since Walter is a stockbroker, this leaves Barry, a penniless reporter, at a disadvantage, so he leaves the city with his three-legged dog Pod and hits the road. Along the way he meets Faith Fansahwe (Virginia Valli), whose car has broken down. He fixes it for her and she gives him 50 cents for his help. Further down the road he meets writer Jerry Jarvis (Arthur Metcalfe), who becomes interested in Pod. Jarvis engages Barry as his secretary and brings him around to his country club, where he meets Faith once again. He saves her from drowning and a romance develops, but Barry can't bring himself to propose because he has nothing to offer her. That dilemma is solved when Uncle Woolwich dies: it so happens that the market has taken a dive and Walter is in severe debt. Barry, meanwhile, still has the 50 cents Faith gave him, and he inherits the estate.