Family Stain (1915)

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The Family Stain was advertised as the first detective film ever produced by the Fox Studios (it certainly wasn't the last, as witness such future Fox "B"-picture series as Charlie Chan, Mister Moto and Michael Shayne). The story is motivated by a vengeful nurse who switches the babies of a poor and a wealthy family. The nurse is subsequently murdered, and the baby-exchange remains undiscovered for nearly half a century. But when one of the grown-up children seems to have inherited the murderous instincts of its natural parents, the plot really gets into gear. Of interest in the film was its rather frank depiction of police "third degree" techniques to force a confession from a suspect who may or may not be the guilty party. Despite the brutality of these scenes, the film was apparently produced with the full cooperation of the New York City Police Department.