Mae Marsh stars in this film based on the popular novel "In the Garden of Charity" by the Canadian writer Basil King. Produced by Vitagraph, it was the final American silent film for Marsh.
What survives of the original 70-minute film is a 21-minute abridgment that was released in 1930 as "The Sea Repays." The condensed version is a little hard to follow, but Marsh is married to Paul (Ben Hendricks, Jr.) who gets bored and goes off to India with his regiment. We see him there dallying with a married woman. After his discharge he's en route for home but goes overboard and is washed up on an island where a woman (Laska Winter)takes him in. After a while he gets bored and decides to go home to Marsh. She takes him to Hunger Island and is supposed to tell people where they can pick him up ... but she does not.
She goes back to Hunger Island (a barren rock) after a few days and rescues Paul (apparently suffering from starvation and exposure) and takes him to Holby where Marsh comes calling in time for Paul to ask for forgiveness. Winter also needs forgiveness because she's pregnant.
Story shifts to the women. Marsh bonds with the baby while Winter suffers guilt and shame and eventually confronts Marsh about the baby before she heads to the sea with suicide in mind. Marsh pursues her.
The final sequence is harrowing and very well done ... no stunt doubles.
Mae Marsh and Laska Winter are very good in this stark little drama. Hendricks is stuck with a rather unappealing character. Earl Schenck plays the gallant cousin.
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