The Finger of Justice (1918)
During WWI, back home in America some people were fighting a foe other than the Huns: vice. This states' rights propaganda picture was produced by Reverend Paul Smith, the pastor of San Francisco's Central Methodist Episcopal Church. The anonymous red-light district depicted in the film was obviously based on the Barbary Coast. Not surprisingly, the hero is a pastor. Minister Noel Delaney (Crane Wilbur) is fighting against the system that allows such a district to exist. His sermons are printed in the papers, much to the horror of political boss William Randall (Henry Barrows), who profits from the district's criminal activities. One of the prostitutes doing business there is Mary (Mae Gaston), who was the college sweetheart of Delaney. His sermons reach her and she decides to help him in his mission. One of the underworld crew, Flip (John Oaker), lures Betty, Randall's daughter (Beulah Booker), to a particularly divey establishment. He doesn't realize who she is, but Mary does, and she rescues the girl. Randall enters the place and when he sees his daughter there, gets in a fight with Flip and is killed. Delaney's battles prove successful, and the community rids itself of corruption. … More
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