The Pride of New York (1917)

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This melodrama was one of a long stream of propaganda pictures released by filmmakers during World War I. Even so, the robust tone of war films was well-suited for director Raoul Walsh and his brother, the highly athletic George Walsh. Kelly (George Walsh) is the brawny son of a builder who loves a girl (Regina Quinn), who is also loved by a wealthy and pampered young man (William Bailey). When war breaks out, the two rivals are drafted into the army. The rich young man wins captain's stripes early on, while Kelly works his way up to become an aviation captain. The girl, meanwhile, goes to work for the Red Cross. They all meet up in Europe, where the girl discovers that the rich boy is really a coward. Not so for Kelly, who comes to her aid when she is captured by a lusty German aristocrat. Since he has proved his mettle, Kelly wins the girl (and America wins the war).