Salvation Joan (1916)

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"Joan Crawford" is the central character in 1916's Salvation Joan. No, it isn't the real Joan Crawford, but instead a fictional character, played by Edna May. Having already achieved fame in London with her portrayal of a Salvation Army lass in the stage play The Belle of New York, May virtually repeats that characterization in this Vitagraph 5-reeler. The heroine is a society belle who secretly performs charity work in the slums of London. While tending to the unfortunate, Joan takes a special interest in a handsome derelict named Bill -- never suspecting that "Bill" is actually John Hilton, an underground operative of the British secret service. Things start percolating when Hilton helps to break up an espionage ring headed by Joan's society fiance Philip Ralston, rescuing the heroine and winning her love in virtually the same breath.