Transgression (1917)

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Film pioneer J. Stuart Blackton was one of the authors of this heavy drama. Hal Page (Webster Campbell) is the brother of mayor Stephen Page (Earle Williams). When he gets involved with the mercenary Carline Shrefton (Billie Billings), Hal is inviting trouble. Carline dumps her former lover, Burt Staley (Denton Vane), because Hal has more money and the two men have an argument at her home. While Carline is struggling with Staley, he accidentally shoots himself and dies. Stephen steps in and gets Hal out of the city quickly to avoid scandal. A year later, Stephen is engaged to Marion Hayward (Corinne Griffith), the daughter of the district attorney (Edward Davis). Carline has wed a crooked politician, Jim Reede (Jack Ellis), whom Hayward is about to prosecute. Carline goes to Stephen and threatens to expose Hal unless he gets Hayward to stop the proceedings on her husband. Stephen's sense of duty wins out and he refuses. Carline is about to go through with her plan when Hal shows up and declares his innocence. Under intense questioning, Carline breaks down and admits the truth, clearing Hal of any wrongdoing. Reede, meanwhile, is convicted of the crimes he committed.