Warning (1915)

Countries - USA  |  
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The silent era paid quite a bit of lip service to Puritan morality, and sinners generally met horrible deaths -- either that, or they had an epiphany that caused them to change their ways. This drama, which throws in a few Bible quotations for good measure, has a little bit of both. In spite of his best efforts Minister Goodrich (M.O. Penn) can't do anything with his scapegrace son, Lester (Creighton Hale.). The boy hangs with a fast crowd and hounds his parents for endless sums of money. One night, his father has to drag the drunken Lester home from a notorious cafe. Before putting him to bed, Goodrich warns Lester to change his wayward habits. When the young man wakes up, he goes to his parents' room and, finding them gone, steals their money and jewels. He visits a gambling resort and returns only after the place is raided. Then he steals from the church's collection plate, takes a girl out on a row boat and forces himself on her. In the struggle, she falls in the water and drowns. Once back on shore, Lester is pursued by witnesses, and he kills one of them. Finally he is arrested and is sent to prison. But he escapes and comes back home to get enough money to leave the country. His father finds him and decides he can't take his son's actions any longer. He ties Lester up and, while praying for strength, dumps him in the lake. At this point, Lester wakes up on the bedroom floor. It was all a dream, but realistic enough to make him swear to walk down the straight and narrow path.