Spy (1914)

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Mark Quaintance (Dustin Farnum) spends his days discussing World War I with a patriotic society, but a General spurs him into action with information about the number of German spies that are infiltrating U.S. intelligence. So Quaintance volunteers to go to Berlin, and on the voyage he meets the beautiful Greta Glaum (Winifred Kingston), who, unbeknownst to him, is a German spy. A romance springs up between the two, and more and more, Greta views her mission as something distasteful. But pressure from the head of the secret service, Freiheer von Wittschaeft (William Burress), keeps her going about her spying. In Berlin, Quaintance sneaks into von Wittschaeft's home so he can steal a book with valuable information. There he finds Greta, and she decides to help him with his mission. She brings the book to the American Ambassador (Charles Clary), after which she is captured by her own people. Quaintance, too, has been captured, and even though he is tortured, he refuses to say where the book has gone. Greta also stands up under torture. Finally, the pair are scheduled to be executed. They refuse to give up any information and gladly face the firing squad, a downbeat ending, rare in mainstream American cinema of any era.