Hero of Submarine D-2 (1916)

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So far as most moviemakers in 1916 were concerned, America was already actively involved in WWI. The hero in this Vitagraph actioner is stalwart submarine commander Colton, played by Charles Richman. When a fleet of U.S. battleships venture into enemy waters, the ships are danger of imminent destruction. Colton's sub goes to the rescue, but the vessel is too large and unwieldy to navigate the mine-infested harbor. Gallantly, Colton dons diving gear and has himself shot out of the sub's torpedo tube, the better to swim to the harbor and de-activate the mines. The rest of the film was reportedly far more believable than its gloriously ridiculous climax.