Embers (1916)

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Arthur Maude both directed and starred in this drama, and his theatrical background is very much in evidence, with the result being quite stagey. Martin and Rhea Woodley (Maude and Constance Crawley) have a child, but the newborn dies. The doctor insists that Rhea must never go through this experience again, putting a strain on the couple's relationship. Rhea is a semi-invalid, and Martin, who has an active lifestyle, finds better company with Maysie Stafford, Rhea's cousin (Nell Franzen). Wesley Strange, a former suitor of Rhea's (William Carroll) gleefully tells Rhea all about her husband's peccadilloes. Rhea offers Martin his freedom, but he turns her down until, in desperation, she pretends fondness for Strange. She allows her husband to catch them together so that he has grounds for divorce. Maysie takes over the Woodley household while Rhea goes to a sanitarium. Her doctor realizes that the only way to save her life is to give her a motherless infant to care for. Martin, meanwhile, finds Rhea's diary and realizes that she merely fooled him into divorcing her. He goes to the sanitarium, finding her with the baby, and the couple reconcile.