Girl Who Doesn't Know (1917)

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This melodramatic morality play managed to toe the line between being sensationalistic and offensive (at least in 1916 terms). Zelma (Marie Empress) is a naive slum girl who gets involved with a lecherous gambler because she doesn't know any better. Meanwhile, Reverend Martin (R. Henry Gray) has been forced to abandon his congregation because of his frankness and has headed to the city slums to preach. He and Zelma meet when Zelma finally wises up and leaves the gambler. They fall in love, and then the gambler returns with his eye on Martin's sister Ruth (Zada Marlow). Zelma is obliged to reveal the gambler's intentions to Martin and in doing so, reveals her own past. Martin is disturbed by what he has learned about Zelma, but in the end he forgives her and asks her to marry him.