Ashes (1922)

Sub-Genres - Crime Drama  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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This drama contains a story within a story -- Joe Kendricks (Ben Lyon) finds himself in dire financial straits and urges his wife, Bess (Esther Morgan) to help him blackmail a rich man. While he is out setting the trap, Bess stays in their hotel room reading a magazine story called "Ashes." The story unfolds: Mr. and Mrs. Crafton (Wedgewood Nowell and Myrtle Steadman) are a pair of blackmailers who are plotting to extort money from a banker, DeCourcey (William Courtleigh). They make his acquaintance, and he visits them in their hotel room. While Mr. Crafton is out of the room, his wife tries to borrow money from him. When he refuses, she starts screaming and Crafton dashes in. He insists that DeCourcey was attacking his wife and calls the hotel detective (Stanton Heck). But DeCourcey points out that he has been smoking a cigar this whole time and the length of the ash suggests that there has been no struggle at all. The detective believes DeCourcey and arrests the blackmailers. After finishing the story Bess decides not to go through with the scheme and returns to her home in the country. She leaves a note for her husband with the man they were going to victimize. He reads it after she is gone and when the repentant Kendricks comes back, he sends him to the railroad station to join his wife. If the director's name -- Gilbert M. Anderson -- sounds familiar, yes, he is film pioneer "Bronco Billy" Anderson.