Forbidden Paths (1917)

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Sessue Hayakawa was graduating from playing heavies to portraying heroes when this picture was made. Sato (Hayakawa) faithfully works for importer James Thornton (James Neill). When the old man dies, he leaves his daughter Mildred (Vivian Martin) in Sato's care. Sato loves the girl, but as he is Japanese he cannot hope to ever marry her (at least not in the racially prejudiced era of the early 1900s). Besides, Mildred loves Harry Maxwell (Tom Forman), who was raised alongside her. Unfortunately, Maxwell doesn't realize this and goes to Mexico where he gets involved with Benita Ramirez (Carmen Phillips), who is no better than she should be. Maxwell doesn't realize this until he has married her, but after the wedding he figures it out and wants nothing more to do with her. He comes home and realizes that he really does love Mildred. Benita follows to seek revenge, but Sato solves matters by taking her out on a motorboat and letting it sink in mid-ocean, drowning the both of them. This conveniently leaves Mildred and Maxwell to be together.