The Web of Desire (1917)

When his wife Grace inherits her father's stock, John Miller, the president of the Western Power and Development Company, becomes a millionaire and moves to New York with his family. Beset ... See full summary »


Emile Chautard


Frances Marion, E. Lloyd Sheldon (story)




Cast overview:
Ethel Clayton ... Grace Miller
Rockliffe Fellowes ... John Miller
Doris Field Doris Field ... Mrs. Langley
Richard Turner Richard Turner ... Stuart Mordant
Edward Kimball ... Thomas Hurd (as Edward M. Kimball)
Madge Evans ... Marjorie
William A. Williams ... Robert Elwell (as William Williams)


When his wife Grace inherits her father's stock, John Miller, the president of the Western Power and Development Company, becomes a millionaire and moves to New York with his family. Beset by business problems, Miller pays little attention to his wife, and Grace, feeling neglected, takes up with a bohemian set. Among her new acquaintances she meets Stuart Mordant, the attorney for Thomas Hurd, a business rival of Miller's. Grace seeks refuge from loneliness in Mordant, who makes a bargain with Hurd to gain control of her husband's company for half a million dollars. Mordant succeeds in compromising Grace and Miller, finding evidence of his wife's betrayal, insists upon a divorce. Grace transfers her stock to Mordant, and at the stockholders' meeting, Hurd demands Miller's resignation. He is about to comply when Grace enters, exposes Mordant and destroys the transfer. Miller offers Mordant a pistol, suggesting that suicide is his only honorable alternative. Mordant takes the gun and ... Written by Pamela Short

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Release Date:

5 March 1917 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Web of Desire ( 1917 ) is a lost silent film. See more »

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User Reviews

Tempting Ethel Clayton
19 April 2011 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

"The Web of Desire" catches lonely, neglected housewife Ethel Clayton (as Grace) vulnerable while wheeler-dealer husband Rockliffe Fellowes (as John Miller) attends to matters at work. The once happy couple has gone "from rags to riches" in the business world. But, as Mr. Fellowes continues to toil, the beautiful Ms. Clayton becomes susceptible to the charms of sneaky business rival Richard Turner (as Stuart Mordant), who wants to gain control of the company.

This is another of Clayton's lost features. A critically acclaimed silent actress, Clayton rose from #75 (for 1917) to #20 (for 1918) in the annual "Motion Picture Magazine" poll of popular players, with this film one of many contributing.

In "Photoplay" (May 1917), film critic Julian Johnson wrote, "In 'The Web of Desire' you will find one of the most carefully made and convincing World (Pictures) photoplays in many months. The story is the lifelike one of two people happy in poverty and obscurity, intensely unhappy in wealth, minor celebrity and the search for more wealth. Ethel Clayton, Rockliffe Fellowes and Stuart Turner have the chief roles, and the play is excellently and carefully staged."

***** The Web of Desire (3/5/17) Emile Chautard ~ Ethel Clayton, Rockliffe Fellowes, Richard Turner, Madge Evans

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