Marriage Ring (1918)

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Produced by Thomas H. Ince, The Marriage Ring was tailored to the talents of Enid Bennett and was directed by the star's then husband Fred Niblo. Like many WWI-era films, the plotline is based upon the assumption that a large and insidious German spy network existing in the USA -- and in this instance, the spies are even operating in the American territory of Hawaii. Anne (Enid Bennett), a perfectly nice girl, for some reason finds herself married to Hugo Mertons (Robert McKim), a drunken gambler. In an attempt to get enough money to travel to the Hawaiian Islands, Mertons brings a stranger to his home and tries to cheat him at cards, but he is caught, and as a result, he and Anne are evicted from their apartment. The couple argue when he demands that she gets some money any means possible. He waves a pistol at her, they struggle, a shot is fired and he falls. In a panic, Anne boards a steamer headed for Honolulu. On board she meets wealthy sugar planter Rodney Heathe (Jack Holt), who is traveling with his mother (Lydia Knott). The mother invites Anne to stay at the plantation, which she does. Back on the mainland, Mertons recovers from his wound and gets involved with a German agent named Koske (Charles K. French). He comes to Honolulu, finds Anne, and demands she return to him. Unhappily, she does and then overhears a plot between Mertons and Koske to destroy the plantation. She heads to the Heathes, but the fire has already started. With the help of the natives, Anne gets the fire under control. Just as she is overcome by the smoke, she is saved by Rodney. The wind changes and Mertons becomes a victim of the fire. He is burned to death before he can reveal that Anne is his wife. Anne, now widowed, is able to be with Rodney.