Hard Cash (1921)

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This Edison multireeler was based on the old George Reade stage melodrama of the same name. When a crooked banker embezzles from his own firm, two innocent clerks are accused of the crime and locked up in prison. Soon thereafter, our two heroes escape (in a distressingly easy fashion). But before justice can be done, a kindly old doctor is introduced into the story as the "voice of conscience." There's also an outsized sea battle involving the bank's specially-commissioned transport vessel and a pirate ship. Audiences ate it up, but the critic for Variety treated the whole affair as a huge unintentional joke.