The Miracle Man (1919)
Directed by George Loane Tucker
Synopsis by Janiss Garza
A group of crooks in New York City's Chinatown hear about an old hermit (Joseph J. Dowling) in a small upstate village who's performing miraculous cures. When they find out that the man is blind and deaf, they decide to pay him a visit. The leader, Tom Burke (Thomas Meighan), has his girlfriend Rose (Betty Compson), pose as the hermit's long-lost grand niece. Burke, Rose and the other crooks, the Frog (Lon Chaney) and the Dope, a morphine addict (J. M. Dumont), all become part of the hermit's household. The Frog fakes being a cripple, and the hoodlums figure that when he pretends to be cured, people will pay loads of money -- to the gang -- for the hermit's services. But they find out that the hermit's powers are real. This begins a change in the crooks -- the Dope quits drugs, the Frog is adopted by a gray-haired country lady, and when Rose is courted by a millionaire, she prefers to stay with Burke, who is finally won over by the hermit's faith. This film was based on a play by George M. Cohan, which was adapted from a book by Frank Packard.
con/scam, cure, hermit, redemption, blindness [physical], deafness, criminal