Service Star (1918)

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A lovely and poignant production still of star Madge Kennedy is virtually all that remains of the WWI romantic drama The Service Star. Evidently inspired by James M. Barrie's The Old Lady Shows Her Medals, the story concerns Marilyn March (Kennedy), a lonely small-town girl who yearns to display a Service Star in her window, indicating that a loved one -- preferably a sweetheart -- has joined the fight against Germany. Marilyn heads to Washington D.C., where she promptly lands a government job. Jealous of the fact that all of her female co-workers have boyfriends in the Service, Marilyn claims that she is secretly married to celebrated aviator John Whitney Marshall (Clarence Oliver). Her friends don't swallow this story and contrive to confront Marilyn with Marshall's mother (Maude Turner Gordon). Unexpectedly, however, Mrs. Marshall corroborates the heroine's story. The reason? John Whitney Marshall isn't an aviator at all, but instead a chemist working on a top-secret government project -- and to reveal this fact might very well lose the war for the Allies. Thus, Mrs. Marshall agrees to keep Marilyn's secret if Marilyn will keep hers. There would be many other surprises for Marilyn and the audience before the film's final fade-out.