This screenplay by Harry Chandlee that is based on the 1909 novel "Comrades" by Thomas Dixon is a commercial propaganda project about a disillusioned young soldier who yearns to live in a classless society where all people are equal. In order to prove to the idealistic young man that communism can't work, his wealthy father purchases an island off the coast of Florida and establishes a commune for his son to live in.
Thomas Dixon, author of THE KLANSMAN, which became the basis for D.W. Griffith's classic film THE BIRTH OF A NATION, tackled socialism in COMRADES, the book on which this film was based. The story revolves around Norman Worth (Robert Frazer), a captain in the Great War who embraces socialism, believing it can best promote world peace. Along comes Herman Wolff (Leslie Stowe) and his band of followers, who want to buy an island to set up their socialist government. Worth joins them, leases the island of Ventura, and becomes Comrade Chief. Wolff is jealous, both of Worth's progress, and of his romance with Barbara Bozenta (Pinna Nesbit). There are quarrels on the island over who has to do the dirty work, and dissenters replace Worth with Wolff, who locks up his predecessor and declares complete anarchy. There's an agenda to this madness, however -- Wolff dumps his wife and demands Barbara submit to him. Worth's chauffeur frees him, and they save Barbara. Justice and order is finally restored when the island is handed over to U.S. rule. This film was ballyhooed on its release, and it gives an interesting insight to America's political climate in the post-World War I era.
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