Test of Honor (1919)

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Up until The Test of Honor, John Barrymore's film work only consisted of light comedy. But here he dove into melodrama with all of his histrionic ability. In this tale (based on the E. Phillips Oppenheim novel, The Malefactor), he is Martin Wingrave, who is having an affair with a devious female (Marcia Manon). Because of the woman's lies, Wingrave winds up in prison, and while he's incarcerated he feverishly plans revenge. When he's finally released Wingrave does wreak havoc on the woman's life, but he finds real happiness with another woman (Constance Binney) who has loved him all along. Ordinary stuff, but Barrymore's presence brought it up a couple of notches.



femme-fatale, first-love, imprisonment, injustice, love, revenge