Man Who Was Afraid (1917)

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This timely emotional drama starred Bryant Washburn as Benton Clune, who when America enters WWI wants to march alongside his brothers in the National Guard. But Benton's mother refuses to let him go, whereupon Benton is branded a coward. Outwardly upset, Benton is secretly pleased, since he really does possess a yellow streak. But our hero ultimately proves his innate courage by volunteering for a "suicide mission" along the Mexican border (there was a popular belief at the time that the Mexican civil war was fomented by the German Kaiser!) The contrived battle sequences in The Man Who Was Afraid paled in comparison to the wartime newsreel footage that was then cascading into American movie houses.