Love's Penalty (1921)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |  
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This old-fashioned meller was the one directorial effort of future matinee idol John Gilbert. He also wrote the somewhat clunky story. Janis Clayton (Hope Hampton) swears vengeance when her sister Sally (Irma Harrison) commits suicide because she has been betrayed by her boss. She gets a job as secretary to the man, a wealthy steamship owner, to accomplish her mission. As Janis plots out her revenge, she loses everything, including her fiancé, who believes she is in love with her employer. But on the day she lets the cad know she intends to ruin him, word comes in that one of his ships has sunk and everyone on board has died, including his wife and child. A grieving relative of one of the dead shoots him. Janis's fiancé realizes she always loved him and they reunite. Like most program features of its day, this film received mixed reviews, but the bad ones were so brutal that it permanently scared Gilbert away from directing. He opted out of his contract with producer Jules Brulatour (who later married star Hope Hampton), and went back to acting.

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Keywords

boating, child, craziness, death, employment, family-member, grief, killing, man, mother, revenge, ruination, scheme, secretary, silence, sister, suicide, water, wife