The Man Who Forgot (1917)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Propaganda Film  |   Countries - UK  |  
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This film, made a couple of years before Prohibition went into effect, was basically prohibition propaganda posing as entertainment. John Smith (Robert Warwick) is a dope fiend and drunkard who decides to reform. He travels to a mission in Cincinnati and straightens up, but he cannot remember his past. Nevertheless, he becomes a prohibitionist leader. In Washington, he falls in love with Edith Mallon (Doris Kenyon), whose senator father is controlled by the Whiskey Trust. Senator Mallon and his cronies want very much to pin a scandal on John Smith so that the Prohibition movement will be discredited. They believe they have done this when a man and woman from Smith's past appear, and the woman fabricates some stories about him. Eventually, though, she admits to her lies, and Smith finally recalls his past. As it turns out, the only scandalous aspects of it were his already-known drink and drug addictions. Since these have been cured (at least that's the way they saw it in the days before 12-step programs), he is free to be with Edith.

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Keywords

abuse, addiction, amnesia, drugs, Prohibition, social-worker