Whom the Gods Destroy (1916)

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This picture used a current event -- the unrest in Ireland during World War I, and the conviction of Sir. Roger Casement of treason -- as its inspiration, and combined it with that old standby, the eternal triangle. Sir Denis Esmond (Marc MacDermott) is an Irish patriot and Leslie St. George Leigh (Harry T. Morey) is an English naval officer. The two are friends and both are in love with the same girl, Mary O'Neil (Alice Joyce, who at the time had been away from the screen for a few years). Esmond intends to start an Irish uprising against England, while Leigh is temporarily blinded while on duty and send to Mary's home to recover. Leigh finds out about Esmond's plan and talks him out of it, but in the heat of his argument, his blindness becomes permanent. He is successful, however, in talking Esmond out of his scheme. But word has already gotten around and Esmond is arrested for treason. He is pardoned by the King of England (Thomas R. Mills) because of Leigh's intervention. After that, Leigh prepares to leave Mary, but she decides that she prefers him over the capricious Esmond.