A Russian refugee who masquerades as Zara, niece of Francis Markrute, comes to his home and marries Lord Tancred, a scion of the English nobility, after a long series of misadventures she ... See full summary »





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Cast overview:
Zara Zenova
Lord Tancred
Florence Billings ...
Lady Highford
Francis Markrute
John Sunderland ...
Lord Ellerton
Kate Lester ...
Duchess of Glastonbury
Eldean Steuart ...
Zara's First Husband (as J.W. Johnston)
Undetermined Role (unconfirmed)


A Russian refugee who masquerades as Zara, niece of Francis Markrute, comes to his home and marries Lord Tancred, a scion of the English nobility, after a long series of misadventures she makes a full confession to her supposed uncle and to her husband regarding her origin and her young son by a former marriage to a Russian prefect of police, whom an infuriated mob murdered for his cruelty. Tancred is stunned, but only for a moment. Overwhelmed with forgiveness he avows his undying love. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Release Date:

30 April 1918 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Lost Film Review
9 July 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Reviews from Moving Picture World May 11, 1918 "THE REASON WHY" Clara Kimball Young Stars in Select Production of Glyn Novel. Reviewed by Edward Weitzel.

The hectic flush that gave "Three Weeks" its chief claim to fame is absent from "The Reason Why," an Elinor Glyn story done into photoplay form by Mary Murillo and directed by Robert G. Vignola for Select Pictures with Clara Kimball Young at the head of the cast. Novelty of plot is not one of the story's features, but the troubles of the heroine will appeal to most spectators. Suspense and surprise are also missing. The plot, however, can be followed without the slightest difficulty, and the acting of the entire cast brings out all the points of the story at their best. Director Vignola's care and understanding of his subject have reproduced the English and Russian scenes correctly, the air of wealth and refinement that surrounds Lord Tancred being particularly effective.

Zara, a Russian girl married to a brute of a husband, and the mother of a young son, receives a letter from her uncle in London asking her to come and make her home with him. The uncle does not know that Zara is married. That same night her husband is killed in a brawl and the widow starts at once for England, Arriving there she leaves her boy in charge of a lodging house keeper and goes to her uncle's home. The gentleman has social aspirations and hopes to satisfy them through his niece. Lord Tancred, of an old and impoverished family, is in the uncle's debt. Markrute, the uncle, suggests a union between the nobleman and his niece. Tancred refuses until he meets Zara. He then says he would be glad to make her his wife even if she had no dowry.

Zara is persuaded to accept the nobleman, but after the marriage she keeps him at a distance, as she is convinced money was the only reason for Tancred's wanting the match. On the night of their first reception word is brought to Zara that her son is very ill. She hurries to him. Her husband follows and discovers his wife at the beside of the dying child. He goes back home and does not let her know that he has discovered her secret. The reconciliation occurs when Tancred starts to leave home forever, satisfied that his wife will never love him.

With Clara Kimball Young as Zara, Milton B. Sills as Lord Tancred, Florence K. Billings as Lady Highford, Frank Losee as Markrute, John Sunderland as Lord Ellerton, Kate Lester as the Duchess and Eidean Stewart as Mimo, a fine performance of all the character is guaranteed. Young Master Stewart is a remarkable child actor. Louis J. Physico did the camera work.

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