Laura, a young woman from an impoverished desiring to be an actress, finds achieving success to be more of a struggle than she anticipated. She meets the wealthy Willard Brockton, and ... See full summary »




Cast overview:
Louise Bates ...
Elfie St. Clair
Willard Brockton
John Madison (as Rockcliffe Fellowes)
Cleo Desmond ...
George Stevens ...
Jim Weston
Frank Kingdon ...
May Hopkins ...
Nellie De Vere
Walter McEwen ...


Laura, a young woman from an impoverished desiring to be an actress, finds achieving success to be more of a struggle than she anticipated. She meets the wealthy Willard Brockton, and seduced by his gifts, realizes she will no longer have to financially struggle if she takes "The Easiest Way" and become his mistress. While living the high-life of luxury, she meets and falls in love with writer John Madison, who forgives her past transgressions as she was so desperate to escape poverty. Madison has to leave her to make his fortune to get enough money so they can marry, and while they are separated, Laura falls back on hard times. She returns to her wealthy benefactor, Brockton, and becomes his mistress. When a wealthy Madison returns two months later, he finds out what she has done and rejects her. Brockton also abandons her, repulsed by her greed. Laura must now find another man to support her or commit suicide. Written by Jon C. Hopwood

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Plot Keywords:

lost film | based on play | See All (2) »


Drama | Romance




Release Date:

April 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A halál menyasszonya  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Version of The Easiest Way (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

Review from Moving Picture World - April 28, 1917
15 August 2017 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"The Easiest Way"

Seven Reel Screen Version of Eugene Walter's Realistic Drama Presents Clara Kimball Young as the Unhappy Heroine--Selznick Pictures Release.

Reviewed by Edward Weitzel.

The uncompromising truth was the watchword of Eugene Waiter when he wrote "the Easiest Way." A seven-reel screen version of this vital drama has been produced by the Selznick company with Clara Kimball Young in the role created by Frances Starr. If there are any moving picture exhibitors not familiar with the story, it may be stated that the heroine is an actress, an attractive young woman, who finds the struggle for existence too hard for her, and accepts the protection of a wealthy broker. Later she meets a penniless young reporter, and they both fall in love. Both are honest about their past lives, and agree to overlook whatever has happened. The girl ends her affair with her protector and looks forward to the day when she and the reporter shall be married. While waiting for her lover to make a fortune in the West, she becomes disheartened by her struggle to secure an engagement, and goes back to her former companion. She makes him break his word to his rival, and the play ends with both men leaving her. The last seen of her in this version shown at the Rialto theater, New York, she has found another elderly protector. Another ending has been prepared. In this one she attempts suicide, is rescued, taken to a hospital and dies in the reporter's arms.

One thing could make such a story acceptable to people of intelligence and the right moral outlook--its truth. As a page from life, the life of temptation and bitter disillusion that many women are forced to lead by the struggle for a livelihood. "The Easiest Way" effects no compromise with fact. Weakness of character alone wrecks the happiness of Laura Murdoch. She does not do wrong for the love of the wrong, but from lack of will power to vanquish it. Such a woman is never outside the pale of human compassion.

The picture version adheres closely to the stage drama. A regrettable number of the skillful touches by which the author made clear the acts of his characters have been left out, but enough of the original material remains to hold the interest at all times, and to point the moral. Albert Capellani's direction is excellent throughout, and Clara Kimball Young succeeds admirably in indicating the moods of Laura Murdock. Joseph Kilgour is seen in his original character of the broker--a flawless piece of work, Rockcliffe Fellows as John Madison, Louise Bates as Elfie St. Clair, Frank Kingdon as Burgess and Walter McElweas as Jerry contribute superior quality impersonations.

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