Crucial Test (1916)

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The success of Norma Talmadge's Panthea inspired a number of movies about long-suffering Russian women; this was one of them. Countess Thanya (Kitty Gordon) is in love with Vance Holden (Niles Welch), an American artist. But Holden believes that she dislikes him and leaves Russia. The Grand Duke Bagroff (J. Herbert Frank) lusts after her, but she won't have anything to do with him. As a matter of fact, her brother Boris is part of a revolutionary circle that intends to assassinate him, and Thanya, thinking this is a good idea, helps them. The attempt is unsuccessful, and both Thanya and Boris are sent to Siberia. They escape, and she goes to Paris while Boris heads for America. Thanya meets up with Holden once again. They resolve things between them and are married. But Bagroff comes to Paris and tells Thanya that he can make Holden all the rage amongst the nobility, providing she "pay the price." She's just about ready to sacrifice herself for the sake of her husband when Boris shows up and finally carries out the assassination. The murder is never solved, and the Holdens go on to lead a happy life. A youthfully dapper Adolphe Menjou) appears in a small role as Count Nicolai.