Master Man (1919)

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Frank Keenan plays Emanuel Blake, a state attorney general who controls the political machine, thus earning him the title of "the master man." The governor (Hardee Kirkland) wants to break up this ring of politicos and Blake sends one of his henchmen, McCullough Davenport (Jack Brammall), to steal a document containing information vital to the governor's case. Davenport blunders the job and accidentally kills the governor. To protect him, Blake pins the crime on Mitchell Murray (Joseph McManus), an opponent of the machine. This helps to clear up another dilemma Blake has -- he in rivalry with Murray for the same girl. Janice Ritter (Kathleen Kirkham) is the adopted daughter of George Vanter (Joseph J. Dowling), a wealthy steel man, who is more inclined to favor Blake; Janice prefers Murray. Vanter is fatally poisoned by Janice's birth father (William V. Mong) and not long after Blake's machinations backfire on him and for a time he is locked up in an asylum. When he comes out, he discovers that Janice is on trial for the murder of Vanter, so he weasels his way onto the jury. Not only does he refuse to convict the girl, he makes it known that the father is the guilty party. He also admits his responsibility for the governor's death. Instead of running away with Janice, as might be expected from such a character, Blake repents and instead figures it's time to pay his debt to society.