The Price of Silence (1917)

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William Farnum stars as young Senator Frank Deering, the protégé of political power broker Judge Vernon (Frank Clark). Deering is in love with Vernon's daughter Grace (Vivian Rich) but is seemingly too shy to declare himself. After rescuing crippled street urchin Jimmy Dugan (Gordon Griffith) from a dingy factory, Deering is inspired to draft a bill which will (hopefully) abolish Child Labor. Opposing Deering every inch of the way is crooked mill owner Henry McCarthy (Charles Clary), who unbeknownst to Deering is the "silent partner" of the sainted Judge Vernon. After the Judge's death, Deering uncovers evidence of his connection to McCarthy, but out of love for Grace he not only refuses to make the evidence public, but also personally takes responsibility for a bribe accepted by Grace's late father. Squirreled away in his jail cell, Deering can at least take comfort in the fact that his bill has passed unanimously, and that Grace has found happiness in the arms of young Dr. Kendall (Brooklyn Keller). Inasmuch as several child-labor laws had already been put in force at the time of The Price of Silence, the trade magazine Variety worried that the film would seem anachronistic upon release.