Young Peggy ( Violet Mersereau ) becomes a pickpocket to survive after her father is imprisoned and her mother dies. One day she is caught and a reform-minded district attorney, George Devereaux, ( Lionel Adams ) takes it upon himself to try and "civilize" Peggy. His experiment is a success, and she becomes engaged to one of his friends. During the wedding she suddenly realizes she loves George, she panics and runs away, becoming a thief again. Meanwhile, her father has been released from prison and is bent on killing George, who had him convicted. Peggy who has secretly been watching George, sees her father pull a gun on him, she jumps between the two men and lets the bullet hit her. Her father loses his thirst for vengeance after wounding his daughter, and when Peggy has recovered , she marries George.
Originally titled The Experiment, The Great Problem was directed and written by Rex Ingram and produced by the Universal Film Manufacturing Company. Filmed in Fort Lee, New Jersey and released in 1916, it tragically remains a lost film.
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