This somewhat pretentious film by director Maurice Tourneur shows the ambivalence his era had toward the female gender. Told in five episodes (plus prologue and epilogue), it begins with a wife (Florence Billings) nagging her husband (Warren Cook), who blithely ignores her. After she leaves in a huff, he looks up "woman" in an encyclopedia, and five stories unfold, each showing how women have managed to destroy their men, from Adam (Henry West) and Eve (Ethel Hallor) to Heloise (Diana Allen) and Abelard (Escamillo Fernandez) to a Civil War officer (Warner Richmond) who is betrayed by a girl (Fair Binney) who is enticed by a bauble offered by the enemy. After about an hour of painting a dark picture of womanhood, the epilogue explains that the current war (World War I) has made men realize the true value of women, and that women are working towards victory by their good works for the Red Cross, and by taking on industrial jobs. The film ends with the martyrdom in Europe of nurse Edith Cavell (a film that was based on her life, The Woman the Germans Shot, was released at about the same time). No wonder women's suffrage caused so much controversy during the first two decades of the 1900s.
by Janiss Garza synopsis