Mr. Opp (1917)

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This sentimental picture, based on the novel by Alice Heagan Rice, embodies the optimistic and ambitious spirit that defined America in the early part of the 1900s. Daniel Webster Opp (Arthur Hoyt) has dabbled in a little bit of everything but excelled at nothing. After the death of his stepfather, he goes to Cove Junction and takes charge of his half sister Kippy (Elsie Maison), whose mind has been affected from illness. He founds a newspaper for the town, the Opp Eagle, and writes buoyant, upbeat editorials. This spirit attracts a promoter, John Mathews (Jack Curtis), who has a coal mining scheme. When Mathews discovers that the mine is worthless and wants the townsfolk to sell out to his rival, Opp opposes the move as dishonest, but the people decide to sell anyway. On top of that, Opp loses his girl, Guinevere Gusty (Neva Gerber) to Willard Hinton (George Chesbro). Hinton, however, realizes how much Opp has done for Cove Junction and gets him nominated for mayor. Finally, Opp gets the recognition and adulation that he has always wanted.