Racing Luck (1924)

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Mario Bianchi (Monty Banks) says goodbye to his parents (Martha Franklin and D. Mitzoras) and leaves Italy for America. He goes to live with his uncle (Lionel Belmont), who runs a restaurant, where he meets "the girl" (Helen Ferguson). Tony Mora, the leader of a gang (Francis MacDonald), decides he doesn't like Mario, and goes out of his way to make his life miserable. As a result, the young immigrant is fired from every job he gets. Through a series of circumstances, a big automobile manufacturer hires Mario for a race, believing that he is a famous foreign driver. In reality, Mario knows nothing about cars and, in fact, has never driven one. Once he gets behind the wheel and takes off, he doesn't stop (mostly because he doesn't know how) until he reaches the finish line. Although the car winds up smashed into a tree with Mario stuck in the branches, he has won the race -- and the girl. Banks had some great help in making this film as funny as it was -- Jean Havez and Lex Neal, who wrote the story, were veteran comedy writers.