The Price of Silence (1916)

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We meet Helen (Dorothy Phillips) in the middle of creating the past that will haunt her for the rest of the film -- she and her lover, Ralph Kelton (Jack Mulhall), are caught in a rainstorm and they are forced to check into a hotel as husband and wife, since there is only one room available. Kelton is struck by lightning and killed, and the truth behind Helen's night at the hotel is known only by a local doctor, Edmund Stafford (Lon Chaney, in an early villainous role). Years later, Helen is married to Oliver Urmy (Frank Whitson) and they have a daughter, Aline (Vola Smith), who falls in love with Billy Cupps (Jay Belasco), supposedly the son of Helen's old nurse, Jenny (Evelyn Selbie). But Billy is really Helen's illegitimate son, handed over to Jenny to be raised, so the match is questionable at best. A worse potential match is suggested when Dr. Stafford reappears in Helen's life. He's now an alcoholic and a drug addict and offers to keep Helen's dark secret if she arranges a marriage between himself and Aline. Aline, however, won't have anything to do with the old, decrepit hop head and elopes with Billy. Luckily, it turns out that Billy is not Helen's son after all -- her boy died during his infancy and was replaced by another child -- so the newlyweds aren't brother and sister after all. Meanwhile, Dr. Stafford is fatally injured in a car wreck, and Helen's shady past is finally given a rest.