Vintage original 11 x 14 in. US lobby card from the teens WWI-themed silent film war drama, THE MAN WHO AFRAID, released in 1917 by K-E-S-E (Kleine-Edison-Selig-Essanay) Service and directed by Fred E. Wright.
The image depicts Colonel Cory (Ernest Maupain) shaking hands with former coward Benton Clune (Bryant Washburn) for having volunteered to make a perilious trip for reincorcements while other men watch from inside of a tent. Printed with a black border, it is unrestored in fine condition.
*"According to the Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database, this film is extant.
Young Benton Clune is not a coward at heart, but rather the victim of an overprotective mother who has taught her son to fear life. When the President's call to arms comes, Clune's regiment of the National Guard prepares, and Mrs. Clune, terror stricken, induces her son to resign from the unit. His comrades brand him a coward and Elsie Revere, the girl he loves, spurns him. After the regiment goes to war, Benton, hurt by the taunts that greet him, hastens to the front where he finds his regiment in dire straits with the enemy in overwhelming numbers threatening their annihilation. The colonel calls for a volunteer to make a perilous trip for reinforcements, and when those who had jeered at Benton hold back from what seems an inevitable death, Benton steps forth. His trip through enemy lines forms a series of narrow escapes, but he succeeds, thus redeeming his honor and winning the girl he loves."
*(source: AFI Catalog of Feature Films)
*"The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company was an early American motion picture studio. The studio was founded in 1907 in Chicago, and later developed an additional film lot in Niles Canyon, California. Its various stars included Francis X. Bushman, Gloria Swanson and studio co-owner, actor and director, Broncho Billy Anderson. It is probably best known today for its series of Charlie Chaplin comedies from 1915-1916. In late 1916, it merged distribution with other studios and stopped issuing films in the fall of 1918. According to film historian Steve Massa, Essanay is one of the important early studios, with comedies as a particular strength. Its founders, George Kirke Spoor and Anderson, were subsequently awarded special Academy Awards for pioneering contributions to film."
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