Sealed Lips (1915)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Drama  |  
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Sealed Lips was based on the popular Maxwell Gray novel The Silence of Dean Maitland, which had been filmed the previous year in Australia (where the story takes place). A young village minister, Cyrus Maitland (Arthur Ashley) takes advantage of his position to seduce the daughter of a local farmer. Seeking vengeance, the father confronts Maitland; a fight ensues, and the minister accidentally kills his assailant. Hoping to avert a devastating scandal, Maitland's best friend Henry Everard (William Courtney) takes responsibility for the killing, serving twenty years in prison while Maitland suffers in silence. Upon Everard's release, the guilt-ridden Maitland, certain that his friend intends to do him harm, stands before his parishioners and confesses his crimes, whereupon he drops dead. But Everard is not seeking revenge, but instead forgiveness -- not for himself, but for the tortured Maitland. The original Maxwell Gray novel would be remade several times in the future, most of these later versions emanating from England and Australia.

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Keywords

confession [admission], forgiveness, guilt, minister, paranoia, seduction, revenge