Whipping Boss (1924)

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Even if the seal of the American Legion didn't appear at the beginning of this Monogram feature, it would be pretty obvious that it had the organization's endorsement; the hero is in charge of the local post, and it's the Legion who ultimately comes to the rescue. This melodrama was based on a real case, and was meant as propaganda against the cruel treatment of convicts under the leasing system that existed at the time. Jim (Eddie Phillips) hops a freight train to go home, but is caught and arrested. After being sentenced to 90 days, Jim is leased out with other convicts to a lumber company run by Livingston (J.P. McGowan, who also directed). Even after he becomes ill from working in a swamp, he is flogged by Barker, the Whipping Boss (Wade Boteler). Dick Forrest, head of the local American Legion Post (Lloyd Hughes), helps Jim's mother (Lydia Knott) locate her son. Forrest wants to prohibit the floggings, and Livingston. To destroy any evidence of whippings, Forrest has Barker set fire to the stockade where the convicts are chained for the night. With the help of his fellow Legionnaires, Forrest saves the convicts. After escaping with the help of some friends, Jim reappears, and Livingston and Barker are arrested. Conditions for the convicts are improved, and Jim regains his health.