The King of Diamonds (1918)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |  
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Oliver Bennett (Harry T. Morey) and his wife Lucille (Betty Blythe) are growing apart, but he doesn't realize that she is having an affair with their friend Dr. Emilo Toranno (George Majeroni). The doctor wants to get Bennett out of the way, so he gives him an injection that causes his skin to imitate the symptoms of leprosy. When he sees the lesions, Bennett takes a row boat out to sea and jumps overboard. Convinced that Bennett is dead, the doctor and Lucille marry. But he isn't dead -- he is picked up by a passing ship and winds up at an African diamond mine. The mine's owner, Dr. Sanderson, tells him that his skin problem is minor, and finally Bennett realizes the dirty trick played on him by Toranno. He swears revenge, and when Sanderson dies and leaves him half his fortune, he sees his chance. He sets out for the States with Sanderson's ward, Jewel (Jean Paige), to seek out Sanderson's daughter, who is heir to the other half of the money, and to get back at Toranno. Bennett disguises himself with a beard and convinces the doctor to invest in a worthless stock. That's only the beginning of what he has planned, but then Jewel reveals that Lucille is Sanderson's daughter (why Bennett, as her husband, did not know this before is a mystery). Because of his loyalty to the dead Sanderson, he gives Lucille her half of the fortune and leaves with Jewel, whom he marries. Since he never officially divorced Lucille, this makes for a sticky ending, especially in this more conservative era.

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Keywords

doctor/nurse, killing, leprosy, love, murder, revenge, romance