On Trial (1917)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |  
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This picture, made by Essanay, was the first release by newly organized company First National. Robert Strickland (Sidney Ainsworth) has confessed to the murder of Gerald Trask (James Young, who was also the film's director). His attorney, through cross-examining Strickland's little daughter Doris (Mary McAlister), hints that there was an affair between Trask and Mrs. Strickland (Barbara Castleton). Mrs. Strickland herself claims on the stand that Trask took advantage of her as a young girl. This information is enough for eleven of the jury members to declare Strickland "not guilty" (in those days, apparently, it was acceptable for a man to murder someone who had sexually used his wife). The twelfth man, however, thinks something is fishy because money was stolen from Trask's safe at the time of the murder. But finally Glover (Patrick Calhoun) collapses and admits he is the killer, and Strickland returns to his family. This film was an adaptation of the stage play by Elmer Reizenstein.

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Keywords

courtroom, flashback, trial [courtroom]