Right of Way (1920)

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This film was adapted from a well-known novel by Sir Gilbert Parker. Charley Steele (Bert Lytell) is a hard-drinking lawyer who is unhappily married. His brilliant oratory skills save the life Jo Portugais (Gibson Gowland), but when Jo tries to thank him, he replies, "Out of my sight. You're guilty as hell!" Later, Steele is seriously hurt in a drunken fight, but he is saved and nursed back to health by Portugais. Steele's memory is gone, though, and when it returns months later, he discovers that his wife (Virginia Caldwell), believing him dead, has remarried. Also, since certain affiars were left up in the air when he disappeared, he is considered an embezzler. Steele, a cynical, faithless man, accepts his rotten fate, but he finds regeneration in the love of a backwoods girl, Rosalie Eventurail (Leatrice Joy). Since he is assumed dead, however, he can't resolve the marriage issue and willingly goes to his death in another fight.