Green Temptation (1922)

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Depending on the source, this is either the last or next-to-last picture directed by William Desmond Taylor, who was mysteriously murdered two months before it was released (in fact, one of its stars, Theodore Kosloff, talked to police about an encounter Taylor had with a strange man during filming). Historically, that is perhaps the most interesting aspect of this romantic melodrama; its storyline involved the Great War, which was no longer popular subject matter (the war had been over for over three years and people were tired of it). In addition the plot, which relies a awful lot on coincidence, often has to be explained in the title cards. Nevertheless, Taylor did a competent, though not outstanding job, as he did on most of his films -- if not for his murder, his name would probably have faded into oblivion. To evade the police Genelle (Betty Compson), an Apache (member of the Parisian underworld), joins the Red Cross as a nurse. Her experiences change her for the better and at the war's end she decides to start over again in America under the name Joan Parker. While attending a garden party she runs into a former accomplice, Gaspard (Kosloff), who is also parading around under an assumed name. The reason for his identity change, however, is more sinister -- he's after an extremely valuable emerald, known as "the green temptation," which is owned by the hostess, Mrs. Duyker (Betty Brice). Gaspard tries to get Joan to help him and when she refuses, he exposes her dark past. Luckily a Scotland Yard man, John Allenby (Mahlon Hamilton) just happens to be in attendance and he is an admirer of Joan's. When Gaspard goes to snatch the jewel Allenby shoots him dead.



agent [representative], arrest, circus, dance [art], dictator, doctor/nurse, escape, false-accusation, just-desserts, manager, rescue, robbery, soldier, war, witness