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The Test of Honor (1919)

After serving a term in prison for a crime he did not commit, a man exacts revenge upon the two people who framed him.


John S. Robertson


E. Phillips Oppenheim (novel), Eve Unsell (scenario)




Cast overview:
John Barrymore ... Martin Wingrave
Constance Binney ... Juliett Hollis
Marcia Manon Marcia Manon ... Ruth Curtis, Mrs. Ferris
Robert Schable Robert Schable ... George Lumley
Jack W. Johnston ... Mr. Curtis
Bigelow Cooper ... Judge Ferris
Ned Hay Ned Hay ... Lovell
Alma Aiken Alma Aiken ... Mrs. Farrell
Fred Miller Fred Miller ... Zeke
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Wealthy Southerner Martin Wingrave falls for Ruth Curtis, who detests her husband. After Curtis finds the secluded lovers embracing, Ruth blames Martin. Curtis fights him, but faints because of a weak heart, after which Dr. George Lumley, another of Ruth's admirers, gives her heart stimulant to administer. When she purposely refrains from giving it, Curtis dies, and Martin is sentenced to prison for manslaughter. He returns home after seven year resentful, and goes with his neighbor Juliet Hollis, whom he secretly supported, to New York, supposedly so that she can continue her music education. Martin visits Ruth, now the wife of Judge Ferris, and demands that she introduce him to society, or he will reveal her earlier love letters. After Juliet discovers that Ruth and Lumley, still Ruth's "admirer," plan to poison Martin, Martin entraps them into admitting their relationship within the Judge's hearing. The judge orders them out and cynically threatens to prosecute Lumley if he ever ... Written by Pamela Short

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Did You Know?


The film is presumed lost. See more »

User Reviews

the star's first dramatic role in motion pictures: a lost film
9 January 2007 | by zpzjonesSee all my reviews

Up until 'Test of Honor', John Barrymore basically played light-hearted comedies or adventures in his earliest motion picture roles. Titles like 'The Incorrigible Dukane', 'Man From Mexico', the well made 'Raffles the Amateur Cracksman' amongst others fill out Barrymore's first six years in motion pictures. Test of Honor is sadly a lost film meaning no prints or negatives are known to exist. But newspaper revues of the time, namely the New York Times, still exist to show that this film and Barrymore's performance was widely praised upon release. The synopsis of this film is quite similar to Barrymore's 1916 Broadway stage role in 'Justice' in which a man is tried in court and subjected to the rigors of the penal system. 'Justice' was a play by John Galsworthy yet it's story could've influenced parts of 'Test of Honor' which in itself was an original story. Perhaps Barrymore himself had a large part in the construct of many of the film's scenes as he would do in many of his later silents. John S Robertson is the director as he would also collaborate with Barrymore the following year on the famous Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde(1920).

*Noted as being the actor's first great dramatic motion picture success prior to playing Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde the following year.

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Release Date:

6 April 1919 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Malefactor See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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