Rex Beach's labyrinthine novel The Auction Block was first brought to the screen in 1917. The story involves a millionaire's son who proves his mettle by opening his own shoe store. The boy's life is complicated by his estranged wife and by a gold-digging temptress. The story transports its characters from the sleepy South to the sinful Big City and back again. The best performance is delivered by Alec B. Francis, as the heartbroken millionaire who holds out hope that his son will eventually prove himself to be a "right guy." A costlier film version of The Auction Block, starring Charles Ray, would emerge from MGM in 1926.
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