The Ordeal (1922)

Genres - Crime, Drama, Romance  |  
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W. Somerset Maugham's first original story for the screen proves one thing -- Maugham could not translate his inspiration to film on his own. All he could come up with was this hackneyed drama. Agnes Ayres plays Sybil Bruce, one of those long-suffering maidens found by the dozens in silent pictures. Her elderly husband George (Clarence Burton) is a mean-tempered, jealous drunk...but he also is very wealthy. Dr. Robert Acton (Conrad Nagel) is ministering to Bruce's weak heart, but Bruce doesn't want him near his wife so he throws him out of the house. Naturally, the excitable old man keels over and dies. When his will is read, Sybil finds he has left her his fortune -- providing she never marries again; if she weds she loses it all. The doctor does love her, but he dare not approach her with a proposal because he does not feel he can support her in the style to which she has become accustomed. In addition, Sybil's sister, Helen (Edna Murphy) and brother, Geoffrey (Edward Sutherland) have acquired a taste for the high life that she feels it is her duty to support. But when a maid confesses that she killed Bruce by giving him a poisoned mint julep, the couple decide to marry after all.

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Keywords

brother, death, extramarital-affair, fortune [wealth], God, husband, lady, love, maid, romance, sister, suffering, suspect