His Majesty Bunker Bean (1918)

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This first of three cinemazations of Harry Leon Wilson's repertory-theater perennial His Majesty Bunker Bean starred Jack Pickford as the wimpish title character. By nature shy and self-effacing, office clerk Bunker Bean changes his stripes when informed by a bogus fortune-teller that he is a reincarnation of the Emperor Napoleon. The worm immediately turns, and in addition to vastly improving his lot in life, Bunker finally has the nerve to ask Mary Kent (Louise Huff), the boss' daughter, to marry him. His Majesty Bunker Bean was remade in 1925, then again in 1936. The latter version holds the most interest for modern-day viewers, inasmuch as it represented one of the earliest important screen assignments for Lucille Ball.