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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This 1917 crime/drama starring the popular actress, Alice Joyce, was
produced by the Vitagraph Company and sadly now remains a lost film. I
have found an original film review to share with the reader.
Moving Picture World, June 9, 1917 - Mary Turner is accused of the theft of another department store employee. Notwithstanding her protestations she is convicted and sent to prison for three years. But before starting her trip to Sing Sing she is granted an interview with Gilder, the proprietor of the department store, her accuser. She first begs for mercy which is refused, and then she gives him the solution of stopping the store thefts. "Pay your girls more than six dollars a week" she tells her former employer. "That will stop the thefts, and save the girls," He sneers at her advice. While studying law in prison Mary realizes that there are many ways of breaking the law and yet remaining "Within the Law." This discovery is made use of by Mary upon her release from prison. Without funds, she is thrown on the bounty of member of the underworld, forgers, burglars and a woman parasite. She is their adviser. They break the law continually but still remain "Within the Law." Aggie Lynch, the parasite, enslaves a man of wealth. She suggests blackmail by selling back to him the love notes he has written to her. Mary shows that the legal blackmail is a breach of promise. The result is the same but the consequences differ. Aggie gets her $10,000 by settlement of the breach of promise case. She remains out of prison to where she would have gone had she attempted to sell her letters directly to her admirer. Mary, herself, obtains $30,000 from two real estate swindlers who first attempted to swindle her. She keeps the $30,000, laughs at the swindlers and remains "Within the Law." Joe Garson, noted as a forger and the lover of Aggie, falls in love with Mary. He watches over her, protects her in every way. As a direct contradiction of this is "English Eddie," another underworld character who becomes a spy for the police, leads his companions into a burglary prearranged for the benefit of the police, which causes his murder by Joe Garson but ends in the arrest of the entire outfit. Mary later captivates Dick Gilder, the son of the department store proprietor who caused her arrest. She ensnares him and marries him. Then she informs her antagonistic father-in-law. "You gave me a prison number and I have changed it for your name." Eventually the Gilder shop girl who stole from her employer and secreted the stolen merchandise in Mary's locker, confesses and the play is brought to a conclusion with the most dramatic scene of the entire play, when Joe confesses to the murder of English Eddie and in the presence of her husband takes leave of Mary preparatory to his trip to the electric chair.
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