Photo courtesy of Allison Shealy


Released 1/3/15 by Universal/Rex; Director: Joseph De Grasse; Screenplay: uncredited, but probably Ida May Park; 2 reels

CAST: Pauline Bush (Olga), William C. Dowlan (Rev. John Armstrong), Lon Chaney (Stephen Leslie), Charles Manly (Deacon Jellice)

SYNOPSIS: Olga is a stenographer working in the office of an attorney, Stephen Leslie. She cares for an invalid sister who needs an expensive operation to save her life, so she appeals to her employer who agrees to give her the money only if she will be his mistress. Having no choice, she reluctantly agrees to live with him; however, three months later her sister dies and she realizes her sacrifice was in vain. She flees the attorney and is befriended by Rev. John Armstrong, who takes her to live with his mother. Their friendship blossoms into love and they eventually marry. A year later, the town is embroiled in a controversy when the local theatre exhibits a moving picture entitled "Shall We Forgive Her?" which depicts a story not unlike Olga's. Deacon Jellice wants the picture banned, and a lawyer is called in to arbitrate. The lawyer turns out to be Leslie, who sees Olga and threatens to expose her if she does not return to his home. Olga plans to run away from both men, and leaves a written confession for John, but on her way out of town, chances to enter the theatre where the film is playing. She is moved by the story so similar to her own, and the film ends with the title, "Judge Not Lest You Be Judged." Leslie has also seen the picture and is now moved to ask Olga's forgiveness, and urges her to return to her husband. She returns home where John has read her confession, but remembering the moral of the picture, he forgives her and takes her in his arms.

"This is very well done for this type of offering. The photography is very good and the cast handles the story well." -- Moving Picture World

NOTES: Some sources suggest that the film, which preaches about the high morality of moving pictures, was instigated by Carl Laemmle, who was involved in censorship fights of his own over some of his releases.

© 1996,2013 Jon C. Mirsalis

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