At the Mercy of Men (1918)

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Inspired by the recent Russian Revolution, At the Mercy of Men casts Alice Brady as Vera Souroff, a Petrograd music teacher. While heading to work, Vera is suddenly seized by three officers of the Czar's Imperial Guard and dragged off to a darkened restaurant, where one of the men rapes her. When the police arrive, Vera is unable to determine which of the three men was responsible for the outrage. The shock of the girl's humiliation has a startling effect on her fiance Boris, who immediately swears vengeance on the Czarist regime and joins the revolutionists. Likewise, Vera's father, a retired Army officer, is galvanized into forming "The Forces of the People." The suggestion that the Revolution was inspired solely by a sexual assault on a single woman may have been a bit hard to swallow, but audiences unfamiliar with the actual political turmoil in Russia were willing to suspend disbelief.

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