Slacker (1917)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Americana, Message Movie, Propaganda Film  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Since the U.S. had recently entered World War I when this picture was released, its subject matter -- draft dodging -- was quite timely, even if its propaganda was presented in the most overbearing, simple-minded manner possible. Two men vie for the hand of Margaret Christy (Emily Stevens): John Harding (Leo Delaney) and Robert Wallace (Walter Miller). When war is declared, Margaret helps out with recruiting. Wallace, meanwhile, reads that single men will be called up first and urges Margaret into a quick marriage. She holds a reception for Wallace's brother, George (Eugene Borden), who has joined up. Robert makes fun of his uniform, while George chides him for marrying to avoid the draft. Margaret overhears the conversation and berates her husband for being a slacker. The next day, when he sees a ruffian snatching an American flag out of a little girl's hands, Robert gives the man a thrashing. This wakes up his patriotic spirit and he joins up and heads for France.

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Keywords

draft-dodger, America, military-draft, world-war, courage, family-responsibilities, irresponsibility, love-vs-duty, marriage, military, pregnancy, propaganda, slacker, anti-military, France