Inner Struggle (1916)

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In an era when most films generally ended on a fairy-tale "they lived happily ever after" note, the finale to this drama seemed especially gruesome. Dr. Stephen Grant (Franklin Ritchie) is the head physician at a leper colony. He wound up there because of a failed romance with Myra Hamilton (Winifred Greenwood), who became upset that Grant practiced vivisection so married Harry Elliot (Roy Stewart), a young wastrel. But Elliot proves to be impossible to reform -- no matter what Myra does, he continues to drink and see other women. Finally Grant can't take it any longer, and he spends several months working on Elliot and making him see the error of his ways. Eventually Elliot stops drinking and returns to Myra a new man, after which Grant obtains the assignment in the leper colony. One day he receives a letter from Myra explaining that Elliot has died, and asking him to come for her. But he realizes that his patients need him and decides to stay. When he goes to burn Myra's letter he discovers that he, too, has contracted leprosy.