"Capital vs. Labor" was the theme of the Mary Pickford vehicle The Eternal Grind. One of several films inspired by the tragic Triangle Factory Fire of 1911, the film casts Pickford as a spunky sweatshop worker who butts heads with her bosses over her miserable working conditions. Rather than unionize her fellow employees, however, Mary finds a more expeditious method to improve their lot. She marries the boss' son, who strong-arms his father into treating the workers like human beings. Along the way, our heroine also rescues her two sisters -- one a tubercular case, the other a prostitute -- from their sorry lots in life. Obliged by her Famous Players contract to star in pedestrian melodramas like The Eternal Grind, it was no wonder that Mary Pickford yearned to become her own producer.
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