Poor Relation (1921)

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In spite of many attempts to bring Will Rogers superstardom in silent films (he was already one on Broadway), it wasn't until sound came in that he found his niche. Here, he and director Clarence G. Badger flounder as they try for pathos a la Charles Chaplin's The Kid. Rogers plays Noah Vale, a penniless inventor who is struggling along trying to support himself and a pair of cute orphans. He toils night and day on an invention that he hopes will make him enough money so that he will be worthy of Miss Fay (Sylvia Breamer, who is wasted here), the daughter of a wealthy man (George Williams). Vale has a relative who's well off, but won't have anything to do with him or his invention; the machine, however, is stolen by the relative's partner. It turns out that the invention is utterly worthless, but Vale winds up ahead anyhow -- he has a few stories, and his relation's secretary markets them. Thus Vale and the kids still manage to become financially solvent.

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Keywords

con/scam, inventor, love, poverty, romance