Atonement (1920)

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Manuella, a French dancer (Regina Badet), is traveling through Italy with her musician-lover, Lionel (Burt Cummings), and her manager, Marco (Fred Gerard). Count Rezzi (Albert Signer) lusts after her and when he catches Marco stealing some of his jewels, he has him sign a confession, then slips the jewels into Lionel's pocket. Lionel, who believes that Manuella is the culprit, is charged with the theft; he says that he is guilty to protect her, and is subsequently thrown in prison. Manuella begs the count to withdraw the charge, but he refuses unless she gives in to him. She angrily turns him down. Marco, in his guilt, turns to drink, but before he dies, he admits to being the real thief. Manuella returns to the count and pretends she has changed her mind, but instead steals the confession and points a gun at him. When he reaches for the gun, it goes off and kills him. As Rezzi dies, he atones for his misdeed, and Manuella and Lionel are finally reunited. This picture was the first foreign-made film to be distributed by World, a film company famous in the 1910s for grinding out solid programmers.