Manager of the B&A (1916)

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Although this picture was adapted from a novel by Vaughn Kester, it was shot primarily because of controversy over a potential railroad strike that was currently in the news -- this was guaranteed to make it a draw. Dan Oakley (Leo Maloney) becomes a railroad manager and his attempt to slash expenses by layoffs and lengthening hours incurs the workers' wrath. With the help of Griffith Ryder (Thomas G. Lingham), labor leader and newspaper editor, they call a strike. The water main which supplies the railroad yards is cut, and a hot engine starts a fire. With water unavailable, the fire spreads to town, but through his superhuman efforts, Oakley gets it under control. His heroic moves win favor with the workers, and the strike is history. Ryder, meanwhile, has been killed, and this leaves the way open for Oakley to be with the girl they both loved, Constance Emory (Helen Holmes). Although she had little to do with the film's plot, Holmes received star billing.