The Recoil (1924)

Genres - Crime, Drama, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film, Marriage Drama  |  
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A lot of money was spent on this romantic melodrama -- enough so that part of it was actually filmed in France. Then again, the owner of the production company, Cosmopolitan, was William Randolph Hearst, who had a lot of money to throw around. After spending 20 years in the South American mines, Gordon Kent (Mahlon Hamilton) comes to Paris, cashes everything in and celebrates his return to civilization. He falls for Norma Selbee (Betty Blythe), a pretty but penniless American girl, and convinces her to marry him. Norma, however, isn't satisfied with the match and runs off with Laurence Marchmont (Clive Brook). Kent chases after them, and, through a detective (Fred Paul), finds out that Marchmont has a criminal past and Norma has a husband back in America. When he finally tracks down the runaway pair, he decrees that they shall live together the rest of their lives -- then spends all his money to keep an eye on them. Marchmont and Norma come to hate each other and find the constant surveillance unbearable. Jim Selbee, Norma's husband (Ernest Hilliard), then shows up and tries to blackmail Kent, but Norma finds out about his scheme and warns Kent. Marchmont kills Selbee, and Norma realizes she really loves Kent after all. Kent begs forgiveness for what he did to her, and they go to South America together. This picture, based on a story by Rex Beach, bore no relation to the 1917 film by the same name.

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Keywords

abandonment, bigamy, blackmail, damsel-in-distress, desertion, detective, investigation, love, lover, love-triangle, private-detective, rescue