Within the Law (1923)

Run Time - 81 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

This is the second time Bayard Veiller's play made it to the silent screen (it would be made one more time in 1939 as a talkie). This version is a run-of-the-mill Norma Talmadge vehicle -- lots of high drama, with no expense spared, but in the end nothing much without its excellent cast. Talmadge plays Mary Turner, the shopgirl working for slave wages who winds up in prison for a theft she did not commit. Mary is bitter over her ruined life and swears vengeance on her former employer, Edward Gilder (Joseph Kilgour). When she gets out of prison and cannot find work, she teams up with Aggie Lynch (Eileen Percy) and they extort money out of elderly men -- but somehow manage to keep their tactics within the law. Eventually Mary meets Gilder's son, Dick (Jack Mulhall), and she makes him fall in love with her. He proposes, and after she accepts she makes her identity known to his father. Edward Gilder, desperate to get rid of her, tries to have her framed for burglary. Thief Joe Garson (Lew Cody), who loves Mary himself, falls for the plan. When he realizes he has been duped, he kills the stool pigeon, English Eddie (Ward Crane). Mary tries to have Dick accused of the murder and they are both arrested. Finally, Garson confesses to the crime, and the girl who originally stole the items that sent Mary to prison reveals that she was the culprit. Mary realizes that she really loves Dick, and the couple is united.