Temple of Dusk (1918)

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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

This simple scenario, written by Frances Marion, served purely to highlight the talents of Sessue Hayakawa, the silent screen's one Japanese star. Hayakawa plays Akira who is in love with Ruth Dale (Jane Novak), a fatherless girl who has grown up in his household in Japan. When American Edward Markham (Lewis Willoughby) comes along, Ruth forgets all about Akira. The two white people are married, but Markham neglects his wife for another woman, Adrienne Chester (Sylvia Bremer). Three years after the marriage, as Ruth lay dying, she asks Akira to look after her child, Blossom (Mary Jane Irving). Akira promises to do so and goes with Markham and his new bride -- Adrienne -- to the States. Back home, Adrienne renews her romance with Pembroke Wilson (Henry Barrows), and Markham grows suspicious. Finally, he finds the two together and shoots Wilson. To protect the child, Akira takes responsibility for the crime and is sent to jail. Blossom, who has strong emotional ties to him, visits him while he is behind bars. One night, Akira dreams that she is in trouble, and he breaks out of jail to go to her. The guards shoot and wound him, but he escapes into the rainy night. He finds the little girl, drenched in the rain -- she was out looking for him. He takes her home and puts her back in bed, but he is gradually growing weaker. As the guards arrive at the house, Akira dies, and Blossom, believing he has merely gone to sleep, lovingly strokes his hair.