Under the Lash (1921)

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What was Paramount thinking when it cast glamorous Gloria Swanson as a drab South African wife in this plodding drama? Deborah (Swanson) is married to a straight-laced Boer farmer, Simeon Krillet (Russell Simpson), who believes that the only book one needs is the Bible and who rules by the lash. When Englishman Robert Waring (Mahlon Hamilton) comes to work for Krillet, he brings literature and romance into Deborah's life. But Krillet catches her reading a non-Boer book, which he considers grounds for a beating, until she claims to be pregnant. She's lying, and when Krillet realizes she loves Waring, he takes her to the barn to shoot her. Waring stops him, and in the struggle, Krillet is killed. It turns out that Waring has a wife back in England, but she divorces him, finally leaving the beleaguered Deborah to her books and her lover. This motion picture -- one of very few Swanson features which lost money for Paramount -- was based on the book (and play ) The Shulamite by Alice and Claude Askew.

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Christianity, husband, love, missionary, wife