A Man's Duty
Black Cast / Drama / Silent
Directed by Harry A. Gant or D. Ireland Thomas
Clarence Brooks as Richard Beverly
Webb King as Hubert Gordon
W. H. Sanders
A Man’s Duty is a silent all black cast dramatic film that was produced by the Lincoln Motion Picture Company in 1919. The Lincoln Motion Picture Company was the first black-owned film company, a production company founded in Nebraska and incorporated in Los Angeles in 1917, owned by George and Noble Johnson (Noble was an actor working for Universal). It has been said that one of their main goals was to show blacks and black culture more realistically, avoiding the stereotypes that had been prevalent in earlier mainline studio produced films. Experts differ on their opinion as to who directed the film, either Harry A. Gant or D. Ireland Thomas.
Richard Beverly and Hubert Gordon are both romantically interested in Myra Lewis, and Hubert tricks Richard into a drunken night out where they end up spending the night at a bordello. When Richard learns of the trick he fights with Hubert, knocking him to the ground where Hubert hits his head on a rock. Fearing that he has killed Hubert, Richard flees to another city.
In the new city Richard meets Merriam Givens and falls in love with her. Richard writes to his previous home, wanting to clear his name and reputation so that he can marry Merriam, but learns that Helen, the prostitute he was with in his drunken night, is pregnant. Merriam entreats Richard to return to marry Helen.
Richard returns, only to find that Hubert has married Myra, and then that Hubert is actually the father of Helen’s child, freeing Richard to marry Merriam.