Single Code (1917)

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The double standard was especially noxious in the early part of the 20th century, because of one indiscretion a woman's life was often ruined, while a certain level of promiscuity was almost expected, if not condoned, when it came to men. The "single code" in the title of this drama refers to the narrowing of the double standard. Hugh Carrington (Crane Wilbur) becomes involved with Olga Kilday (Olive Stokes), a married woman who blackmails him. Once he frees himself from her, he establishes a magazine called "The Purist," which champions a single standard of morals for both men and women. Meanwhile, Lorrie Stuart (Florence Printy) is betrayed by Dick Baxter (John Oaker), and she has a stillborn baby out of wedlock. Lorrie offers to help Carrington with his work at the rescue mission, and they fall in love and marry. Eventually the truth comes out about Olga, but Lorrie forgives her husband. He, however, is not so magnanimous when he finds out about Lorrie's past. He walks out on her, and only intervention by Lorrie's friend, Dr. Allen (Harrish Ingraham), brings the couple back together.