The Bait (1921)

Genres - Crime, Mystery, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller  |  
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The poetic work of director Maurice Tourneur was highly respected during the silent era. Producer Jules Brulatour was anxious to have Tourneur direct his fiancée, Hope Hampton. Unfortunately, the girl's talents were limited at best, and Tourneur finally agreed only because of Brulatour's persistence. But the director actually did very little work on the resulting film -- he left most of it up to his assistant at the time, up-and-coming film idol John Gilbert. Gilbert also wrote the screenplay, which was adapted from Sidney Toler's play, The Tiger Lady. Salesgirl Joan Grainger (Hampton) is the victim of Bennett Barton (Jack McDonald), who has her framed for a crime and then pretends to rescue her. As a result, Joan considers him her protector and they go to Paris. There, Joan meets and becomes involved with millionaire John Warren (Harry Woodward), not realizing that Barton is using her as bait so that he can get his hands on Warren's money. An old gambler who is Barton's former friend, saves Joan from Barton's clutches by getting a confession from the real perpetrator of the crime for which she was framed. Barton is killed while trying to retrieve the confession. Joan's name is cleared and she ends the film with Warren. Brulatour was so happy with the job that Gilbert did that he hired him to direct another Hampton film, Love's Penalty.

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Keywords

accusation, blackmail, captive, captor, con/scam, confession [criminal], criminal, employee, escape, false-accusation, jewel-robbery, love, name-clearing, prison, prison-escape, robbery, scheme, underworld