Synopsis by Janiss Garza
The title is the same as director George Stevens' 1951 drama, but this picture has nothing to do with Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, the basis for the Stevens film. Instead, it's adapted from the farcical stage play by Cyril Harcourt -- the only problem being that it was made into a melodrama for the screen, and its entertainment value suffered as a result. Rosie Blair (Margaret Blanche) and her brother, Dick (Malcolm Sherry), live on the estate of Sir John Capel (Lynston Lyle). Sir John's children, Stuart (Reginald Owen) and Marjorie (Lydia Billbrooke), begin romances with the Blair siblings, but Stuart especially is afraid of his father's disapproval. Although his love affair with Rosie turns physical, he is reluctant to marry her because he thinks he will be disowned. Dick, meanwhile, has gone to London and he becomes a successful author. When he finds out that his sister has been wronged, he storms over to the Capels, but Sir John won't hear of a marriage. Marjorie, however, decides to teach her father and brother a lesson and puts herself in a compromising position with Dick. Stuart sees through her trick but it doesn't matter since he intended to propose to Rosie anyhow. And Sir John finally relents and gives Stuart and Rosie his blessings. This British-made picture was produced in 1916, but it didn't appear in the States until 1919, after the end of World War I.
aristocracy, class [social], conflict, family-disapproval, forbidden-love, love, peasant, pregnancy, revenge, romance