Innocent Cheat (1921)

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Produced and directed by Benjamin F. Wilson, this low-budget melodrama was ostensibly based on a story by pulp writer Peter B. Kyne. Roy Stewart plays John Murdock, a railroad engineer who causes a wreck because he cannot keep his mind off an unrequited love. Discharged and distraught, John wanders aimlessly in search of the woman he blames for causing his downfall. Meanwhile, in New York City, Mary Stanhope's husband (Sidney De Grey) is divorcing her and is seeking custody of their child. Mary (veteran screen vamp Kathleen Kirkham tells the judge a story filled with abuse and betrayal and is granted custody. She escapes to the peace and quiet of the Adirondacks where she meets Murdock. He is the real father of her child, and she, of course, the woman that caused him to lose his job. Angry at first, John is softened by the sight of the child, and the former lovers are reconciled. A radical departure for Western and action specialist Wilson, The Innocent Cheat was written for the screen by J. Grubb Alexander, author of such grade-A productions as The Lone Wolf Returns (1926), The Sea Wolf (1926), and Moby Dick (1930).

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alcoholism, divorce, engineering, illegitimacy, love, love-triangle, party, romance, showgirl, wife