Wise Guy (1926)

Run Time - 60 min.  |  
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

George Marion Sr. plays a carnival huckster who decides to turn pennies into dollars by passing himself off as a hellfire-and-brimstone evangelist. He is assisted in this enterprise by jaded Betty Compson, a hard-boiled egg who believes in nothing except money. Inevitably, however, Compson is reformed by the love of a good man, whereupon she embraces religion for real. Apparently inspired by the career of such celebrity Bible-thumpers as Aimee Semple McPherson and Billy Sunday, Wise Guy ran into a great deal of censorship trouble even in such sophisticated regions as New York and Chicago. By the time the blue-noses finished wielding their scissors, the storyline made no sense whatsoever.