Red Lily The (1924)
Directed by Fred Niblo with a screenplay by Bess Meredyth that was based on the director’s story this silent drama features Ramon Novarro and Enid Bennett (Niblo’s wife) as young lovers who are unfortunately separated (while eloping) until some time much later when they’re reunited only to find that they’ve led much different (yet equally tragic) lives. Sidney Franklin and Wallace Beery are among those who also appear.
Marise La Noue (Bennett) and Jean Leonnec (Novarro) have grown up together sweethearts. When her father dies suddenly she has to live apart from him with relatives but her family treats her badly. So Marise flees the awful household and returns to her empty childhood home alone a fact that Jean notices instantly per a candle’s light in the window. Despite his father’s (Frank Currier) earlier disapproval of her Jean goes and comforts Marise but unfortunately they then both fall asleep. When they awake the two are naturally shunned by those in their community (remember the times) and are forced to leave. They go to Paris intending to get married but when they are separated at the train station Jean is arrested (per his father’s warrant for theft) and taken away to jail unable to tell Marise who waits alone for hours until her things are stolen and she is frightened away by an unseemly character. Eventually she becomes involved in prostitution. When Jean returns he can not find her; he then becomes associated with Bobo (Beery) a thief himself; the two become notorious wanted criminals on the run from the police.
Eventually Marise and Jean met one another again years later; he has the hardest time of all accepting what she’s become (her appearance has changed dramatically and her innocence is long gone). Is their love lost or will it heal all wounds and bring them together?