Strength of the Weak (1916)

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This Universal feature was adapted from a play by Alice M. Smith and Charlotte Thompson. Upon the death of her father, innocent country girl Pauline D'Arcy (Mary Fuller) is entrusted to the care of her daddy's closest friend (Edwards Davis). Unfortunately, the "friend" is a no-good bounder, who promptly installs Pauline in a brothel and seduces her. Certain that she has been ruined for life, our heroine is gratified to discover that clean-limned Richard Adams (Curtis Benson) loves her despite her sordid history. Alas, Richard turns out to be the son of the very man who brought about Pauline's downfall. In the original play, the perils of Pauline ended with her suicide; the film version had a more positive outcome.