Zongar (1918)

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Healthy living perpetually goes in and out of fashion, and in the 1910s, one of its main proponents was Bernarr McFadden. He published a magazine, Physical Culture, and had a chain of restaurants where the food was "scientifically" prepared. But McFadden was no film maker, as this picture proves. Zongar (George Larkin) is the son of a wealthy man, but more importantly he's the kind of athletic, physically fit specimen McFadden liked to show off. Zongar is in love with Helen Thorpe (Grace Davison), but so is the villainous Richard Sutton (Jack Hopkins). Sutton gets his mistress (Dolores Cassinelli) to flirt with Zongar, but he isn't having any, so Sutton next robs and murders Zongar's father. Zongar, of course, makes sure that by the finish, bad guy Sutton gets his due through various feats of physical prowess, none of them as impressive as anything done by Douglas Fairbanks -- another proponent of clean living. Fairbanks, however, was an all-around entertainer who could act while showing off his athletic tricks. This melodrama with its shoddy thrills fell flat.