Having contracted with Paramount for a several stars in 1917, Thomas Ince became responsible for a series with Enid Bennett, as I outline in my Ince biography. Bennett was cast as Betty, a female safecracker, opposite Lloyd Hughes as Moran in the predictable romance THE FALSE ROAD. Prison has reformed him, but she plans to bring him back into the gang's fold. She laughs at his proposal of marriage and to live honestly, saying she'd rather marry a minister.
He finds clean air, sunshine, and real work in White Harbor, Massachusetts, in the employ of a kindly village banker devoted to his wife of 40 years. The banker's safe, however, has been marked by the gang as "easy pickings." However, in these environs even Betty begins to doubt her ways. After the theft, Moran returns to the gang as a "prodigal," telling Betty he no longer sees the need to marry her, and she realizes she misses his reformed self.
Drugging the head of the gang, she gets the banker's money bank, and they go back to White Harbor, confessing all and finding comfort and forgiveness in this new haven. The time is, naturally, Christmas. Bennett's role is very much a costarring one with Hughes, as he must persuade her to discover the same virtues he has found, and THE FALSE ROAD combines elements of romantic comedy with melodrama. The movie cost $69,669 to produce, and grossed $158,191.
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