Scrap Iron (1921)

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John Steel (Charles Ray) is faithful to his invalid old mother (Lydia Knott), who makes him swear off fighting. This marks him as yellow amongst the mill workers at the factory where he is employed. His refusal to use his fists earns him the name "Scrap Iron." Midge Flannigan, the girl next door whom John loves (Vera Steadman), walks off on the arm of fighter Battling Burke (Tom O'Brien), adding to his humiliation. Because of his mother's illness, John is forced to stay home from work and is fired. Money becomes desperately tight, so when fight promoter Bill Dugan (Tom Wilson) offers John 200 dollars to lose to Battling Burke, he breaks his vow to his mother and accepts the offer. Not only does John stay in the ring, he hands Burke a knock-out blow. With the winner's purse he is able to send his mother to Florida, like she always wanted. Ray adapted the tale from a Saturday Evening Post story by Charles E. Van Loan.

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Keywords

coward, hero, invalid, mother, prizefighter