Crucible of Life (1918)

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After a brief and unhappy marriage, Gladys Dale (Grace Darmond) finds work as the companion to Diana Dorset, the daughter of a society matron (Winifred Harris). Mrs. Dorset also has a spendthrift son, Robert (Jack Sherrill), who makes a number of unwelcome advances to Gladys. However, with the arrival of Edwin Fairfax, Mrs. Dorset's younger brother (Frank O'Connor), Gladys finds a soul mate. But then Fairfax has to report for duty in France (being as World War I is going on) and he leaves. Robert, meanwhile, has gotten involved in the affairs of Fritz Von Hoffbert (Edwin Forsberg), burglar and German spy. Robert commits several robberies with Von Hoffbert and ultimately steals his mother's valuable necklace. To attract suspicion towards herself and away from Robert (which will break his mother's heart), Gladys leaves her position. She goes to France as a Red Cross nurse, where she is wounded. Von Hoffbert has arrived nearby and is continuing his dirty work, which is discovered by Fairfax. The two men battle, and although Von Hoffbert gets the worst of it, Fairfax is also injured and taken to a hospital. There, he finds Gladys and they are reunited. Robert, meanwhile, has fessed up to his thefts and Gladys's name is cleared. This picture was based on the stage play, Fairfax, by Bartley Campbell.