Whose Wife? (1917)

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This feature starring Gail Kane was a typical program fare for its era. Mary Melville (Kane) weds the notorious but wealthy Claude Varden (Harry Von Meter) only to please her invalid mother (Elizabeth Taylor -- no relation to the Elizabeth Taylor born a quarter of a century later). When Varden has to go to South America, Mary's mother has an attack, so she stays behind. Varden, who is already bored with the marriage, romances Nitra Ruiz, a South American heiress (Ethel Ullman) who is traveling with her brother Ramon (Frank Rickert). Back at home, Mary's mother dies and since Mary can't get hold of Varden, she goes to work at a law office. The ship Varden was on is shipwrecked and he is listed as a fatality although he has really been rescued. Mary and her boss, John Herrick (Edward Peil), fall in love and make plans to marry; Varden meanwhile has already wed Nitra, gotten his hands on her wealth and dumped her. Distraught over this treatment, Nitra has taken poison and died. Mary and Herrick are about to wed when Varden reappears. Mary faints on seeing him and he spirits her away. Back at Varden's apartments, Ramon shows up and a fight ensues. Varden kills him and is put on trial. But before he can be sentenced, he is killed by the jailbird husband of yet another woman he has wronged. Finally Mary's nightmare marriage is over and she is free to be with Herrick.