Half Million Bribe (1916)

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When Colonel S. F. Hargraves (Fred C. Williams) is shot in a gambling den, drunken idler Lawrence Challoner (Hamilton Revelle) is charged with his murder. Challoner's rich wife, Miriam (Marguerite Snow) offers district attorney William Murgatroyd (Carl Brickert) all her money (at the time a half million dollars was a fortune) to get him off. Murgatroyd takes the money but convicts Challoner anyway. Eventually, the real killer, Pemmican (John Smiley), is killed in a fight but confesses before he dies. Challoner goes free, but he and his wife are broke and have to go live in the slums. He fights desperately against his addiction to booze and finally overcomes it. At this point, Murgatroyd gives Miriam her money back, explaining that he only took the money in the hopes that it would make a man of her husband. The D.A. is now running for senator, and Challoner helps uncover dirt about his rival, Graham Thorne (Walter Hitchcock), who happens to be the owner of the gambling den. This convoluted film was based on a novel, The Red Mouse, by William Hamilton Osborne.