Vital Question (1916)

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Business magnate Peter Worden (Anders Randolph) and district attorney Adrian Scarsdale (Leo Delaney) are both in love with Beatrice King (Virginia Pearson), daughter of banker Randolph King (Charles Kent). Tension arises when the DA is a assigned to an investigation which may prove troublesome for Beatrice's father. Determined to perform his duty to the full extent of the law, Scarsdale indirectly brings about King's suicide, thereby losing Beatrice's love. Worden offers to square all debts accrued by Beatrice and her brother Richard (George Cooper), not out of altruism but because he hopes to persuade Beatrice to marry him, which she does. Later on, DA Scarsdale is obliged to scrutinize Worden's crooked business practices. Still holding Scarsdale responsible for her father's death, Beatrice angrily threatens to destroy Scarsdale's reputation if he doesn't drop the investigation -- and when this fails, Worden himself tries to frame Scarsdale on a bum rap. But the DA is saved from this conspiracy by Beatrice's brother Richard, who kills Worden in a scuffle. Realizing that Scarsdale was right all along, Beatrice tearfully apologizes, whereupon she is assured by the DA that he has never fallen out of love with her.