Parted Curtains (1921)

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Henry Walthall made a name for himself as the Little Colonel in D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation. Unfortunately, that was also the high point of his career, and his impressive talents were generally wasted in mediocre material. This "state rights" crime drama was better because of his presence. After misplacing his trust in a friend, Joe Jenkins (Walthall) winds up serving time in prison. When he is released, he is unable to find work and passes out from exhaustion in front of a house belonging to artist Wheeler Masters (Edward Cecil) and his wife (Mary Alden). They take him in and Mrs. Masters' sister Helen (Margaret Landis) asks him to tell his story. When he mentions the name of his former friend, no one notices that it draws a reaction from Mrs. Masters. It turns out the man had betrayed her before her marriage and is now blackmailing her. The next time the man comes by, Jenkins attacks him, but they are discovered. To save Mrs. Masters' reputation, Jenkins clai ms he himself is the thief and his ex-friend is a detective. It looks like Jenkins' life is ruined once again, but then the blackmailer kidnaps the Masters' little boy Bobby (Mickey Moore). Jenkins comes to the rescue, the truth come out, and he is able to renew his romance with Helen.

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Keywords

artist, blackmail, faint, frame-up, kidnapping, love, prison, rescue, robbery, self-sacrifice, showdown, unjust-imprisonment, victim