The Necessary Evil (1925)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |  
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Ben Lyon and Viola Dana co-star in this heavy society drama -- not exactly the forte of either of these stars. Charming but irresponsible Dick Jerome (Frank Mayo) wins Frances (Gladys Brockwell) over his rival, the more responsible David Devanant (Thomas Holding). Jerome is a drunk and a womanizer, and in an attempt to straighten him out, Devanant sends him on an assignment to South America. He dies there, a victim of a brawl. Back home, Frances dies too, and she asks Devanant to marry her so that her son, Frank, will have a father. He agrees, and also adopts a girl, Shirley Holmes. Frank grows up (to be played by Lyon), and proves to be every bit as irresponsible as his father. He marries Hattie (Mary Thurman), an adventuress who wants money to annul the marriage. When Devanant refuses, some bonds are stolen from him. He accuses Frank and sends him to South America to earn back the money lost. Frank works hard until a friend insists that Devanant is only trying to get rid of him so he can marry Shirley (Dana), who both he and Frank love. Frank returns to the States to stop the wedding, but Devanant reveals that he knew that Frank did not take the bonds -- he just wanted to make a man of him. Devanant has a heart attack and dies, so Frank and Shirley are able to wed. This picture was based on a book written by future Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Stephen Vincent Benet.

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Keywords

binge, bonds [investments], criminal, death, divorce, exchange, future, guilt, island, love, promise, shock, son, South-Seas, time, tropical