Dorothy Forbes ( Mae Marsh ) is the neglected daughter of a wealthy family, virtually raising herself. She becomes friendly with her father's chauffeur Henry Watson (Herbert Langley) and soon they become very intimate and Dorothy finds herself pregnant. She confides this to her efficient Aunt (Eva Moore) who makes arrangements to keep the baby's birth a secret. Dorothy retires to the country for the birth of the child, who is then put out to a nurse. She returns home pining for her baby and it is brought from its original foster parents. Meanwhile, the chauffeur still strongly infatuated with Dorothy, sinks into bullying his wife Kate (Hilda Bayley) and getting drunk, he is dismissed as the chauffeur. His wife tries to get his job back, but the request is refused, but she is given the baby to look after, being told it belongs to friends of Dorothy's Aunt. Dorothy has met Richard Hawke (C. Aubrey Smith), a famous barrister, they fall in love and marry and she keeps her secret to herself. One day in a drunken fit the chauffeur kills the child not knowing it was his. Richard Hawke, is counsel for the prosecution and his wife in an agony of fear that he will find out her secret, confesses all. He then calls her as a witness to prove the motive for the murder. Richard forgives Dorothy, but gives up his career. The last scene shows the couple in a rural retreat, happy in their love and family.
Flames of Passion remains a lost film, and the loss is a tragic one for silent cinema. It was made by the newly formed Graham-Wilcox Productions a British company. In hopes of improving their films market-abilities, they offered the very popular American actress Mae Marsh a high salary. She arrived in Southampton with her husband and child Mary, aboard Mauretania from New York on July 3rd 1922. At Waterloo she was greeted with huge crowds estimated to be in the region of 100,000. Filming began in earnest thereafter at the height of the summer. Flames of Passion became the first post-war British film to be sold to the U.S. The final reel of the film was filmed in the bi-pack colour process Prizma Color. Costumes were of the highest quality and the film locations were the best. Fans can only hope a copy of this priceless film still survives somewhere.
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