God's Good Man (1921)

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This British drama, based on a novel by Marie Corelli, was too crudely made for American tastes. The film was actually made a couple years earlier, but it was so poor that it was held back until 1921 for general release in the U.S. Maryllia Vancourt (Peggy Carlisle) is a wealthy heiress who tires of the phoniness of London society. She escapes to her country estate, but is followed by a number of fortune hunters. Among the rural villagers is the Reverend John Walden (Basil Gill), and he and Maryllia are drawn to each other. But Walden seems old-fashioned and stiff (kind of like the film itself) compared to the other guests at a dinner party Maryllia throws. Because of his rude comments about whether ladies should smoke ("I didn't think ladies smoked."), he manages to insult everyone there. Maryllia fires the estate's caretaker for cutting down a tree beloved by the villagers, and the former employee swears revenge. During a hunt, he makes sure that Maryllia is thrown from her horse. She is seriously injured and it looks like she may wind up a cripple. But Walden spends most of his time with her while she's recuperating and the two become close again. After a specialist has saved Maryllia, Walden proposes and she accepts.