Seal of Silence (1918)

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Dr. Loring (Earle Williams) may be a master of his profession, but at home it is his ice-princess wife who rules the roost. While working on a revolutionary heredity theory -- namely, that a child can "identify" its parents via certain personality traits -- Loring takes on Ruth Garden (Grace Darmond), his wife's best friend, as his lab assistant. Hoping to prove his theory, Loring despairs that his wife refuses to bear any children. Upon learning that she has been unfaithful, Loring finally summons up the courage to throw his wife out of the house. Before she leaves, however, Mrs. Loring confides to Ruth that she has become pregnant by Dr. Loring, but intends to keep her pregnancy a secret from her husband, spitefully robbing him of the opportunity to test his theory. Mrs. Loring ends up dying in childbirth, leaving her baby in Ruth's care. Jumping to conclusions, Dr. Loring believes that Ruth is the mother of the child. She allows him to labor under this misapprehension, certain that an application of his heredity theory will prove beyond doubt that he is the father, but unwilling to reveal the truth herself for fear of spoiling the experiment. Undoubtedly, The Seal of Silence took less time to watch than it does to describe.