The Climber (1917)

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Henry King both directed and starred in this drama. William Beerdhelm Van Broon (King) has worked his way down the social scale and now he is merely an employee at Tom Tarney's bowling alley. When Tarney (Charles Blaisdell) sees that Van Broon has a wicked right hook, he puts him into training to be a fighter. The local champion is Buck Stringer (Gibson Gowland), whose brother and sister are working on a scheme to blackmail the wealthy Bruce Crosby (Jack McLaughlin). Crosby's sister, Eva (Lucille Pietz), falls in love with Van Broon without realizing that he is a pugilist. When he beats Stringer in the ring, however, his profession is revealed and Crosby is infuriated. Even though Van Broon has saved him from the blackmail scheme, Crosby accuses him of being involved in it. Eva has a lot more faith in Van Broon, and it pays off when a family attorney tracks him down and informs him that he has inherited several million dollars.