The Judge's Wife (1914)

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In this early silent melodrama, Neva Gerber played an avaricious wife of a judge who allows her husband's secretary to go to prison in order to protect her honor. From all accounts a rather heavy-handed melodrama, The Judge's Wife also dealt with the then much talked about "white slavery" rackets, but it is the noble gesture of the secretary (John Revett) that is remembered. According to some reports, the film's director, the doomed William Desmond Taylor, once spent a couple of years for the same reason as the secretary in his film: to protect the good name of a woman. Taylor and Gerber, a brunette leading lady who later appeared mainly in B-Westerns, were engaged to be married, a marriage, alas, that never materialized. Taylor, of course, became instead the victim of Hollywood's most notorious, unsolved, murder case.