Paws of the Bear (1917)

Genres - Action, Drama, Spy Film, War  |   Sub-Genres - War Drama  |  
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When World War I breaks out and the Germans invade Belgium, a Russian girl, Olga Raminoff (Clara Williams), is staying at an inn there. She takes a potshot at one of the Huns' generals and hits a bull's-eye. A young American at the same inn, Ray Bourke (William Desmond), tries to protect her, and the result is that they both are sentenced to be shot. But before the firing squad can raise its rifles, a bombing by the Allies annihilates them and frees the pair, who promptly lose track of each other. On his way home, Ray meets Austrian college friend Curt Schreiber (Wallace Worsley), who gives him some papers that need to arrive safely in Washington. On the ship to America, Ray once again encounters Olga who, along with Boris Drakoff (Robert McKim), is working as a Russian operative. Olga wants the papers, but instead of giving them to her, Ray proposes marriage with the promise that he won't allow them to be delivered. So they are wed, and the papers make their way to Washington anyhow. But it doesn't matter, as they carry no information that will damage Russia. This picture was completed not long after the U.S. entered the war, so it caused a small amount of controversy because it showed a character from the Axis nations (Schreiber) in a sympathetic vein.

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Keywords

war, against-all-odds, agent [representative], oppression, student