Law of Men (1919)

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Although the plot to this melodrama is pretty routine -- a man wrongly accused of murder is convicted but then proven innocent -- the ending has a nice twist. Unfortunately, the story's executed rather awkwardly by director Fred Niblo, who bestows a few too many close-ups on his star, Enid Bennett...who also happened to be his wife in real life. Although she's a sculptress, and an ambitious one, Laura Dayne (Bennett) is nevertheless a bit naive. That's why she believes architect Jamison Keene (Donald MacDonald) when he invites her to an inn to discuss the placing of one of her statues. She has no idea that Keene has been carrying on an affair with Mildred Wade (Dorcas Matthews), the wife of her guardian Benton (Andrew Robson), and that he now wants her. When he attacks her she pulls herself out of his grasp and dashes to her fiancé, artist Denis Connors (Niles Welch). After hearing her tale, he goes to Keene's hotel room and threatens to kill him. So when Keene is found dead, Connors is the number one suspect. Wade is a lawyer, and represents Connors at the trial, but he is still convicted. Laura, however, has come to the realization that it was Wade who murdered Keene, and after confronting him, he promises to confess. At Connors' sentencing he comes clean, then quickly swallows poison and ends his life. Connors is freed and has a happy reunion with Laura.