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HISTORY

The 11 Mar 1916 Motion Picture News announced that the recently completed film was scheduled to open two days later at the Strand Theatre in New York City, as well as other theaters across the U.S. That same day’s issue of Motography claimed that director Frank Reicher began his next picture within an hour of completing For the Defense. A review in The 25 Mar 1916 Moving Picture World stated that the original story was written specifically for lead actress Fannie Ward by Hector Turnbull, who wrote her previous hit film, The Cheat (1915, see entry).
       For the Defense opened to mixed reviews. While it was well-received by some critics, the 25 Mar 1916 Motion Picture News found the plot to be ridiculous, and revealed that the so-called brutal murder at the center of the story was committed unintentionally in defense of a woman.
       Various sources state the picture's working title as Fidele ... More Less

The 11 Mar 1916 Motion Picture News announced that the recently completed film was scheduled to open two days later at the Strand Theatre in New York City, as well as other theaters across the U.S. That same day’s issue of Motography claimed that director Frank Reicher began his next picture within an hour of completing For the Defense. A review in The 25 Mar 1916 Moving Picture World stated that the original story was written specifically for lead actress Fannie Ward by Hector Turnbull, who wrote her previous hit film, The Cheat (1915, see entry).
       For the Defense opened to mixed reviews. While it was well-received by some critics, the 25 Mar 1916 Motion Picture News found the plot to be ridiculous, and revealed that the so-called brutal murder at the center of the story was committed unintentionally in defense of a woman.
       Various sources state the picture's working title as Fidele .
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Motion Picture News
11 Mar 1916
p. 1438
Motion Picture News
25 Mar 1916
p. 1773
Motography
11 Mar 1916
p. 600
Motography
18 Mar 1916
p. 662
Motography
25 Mar 1916
pp. 709-710
Moving Picture World
12 Feb 1916
p. 955
Moving Picture World
25 Mar 1916
p. 2010, 2026
New York Times
13 Mar 1916
p. 5
NYDM
1 Apr 1916
p. 28
Variety
10 Mar 1916
p. 28
Wid's Daily
16 Mar 1916
p. 436
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Fidele
Release Date:
13 March 1916
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 13 March 1916
Copyright Claimant:
Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Co., Inc.
Copyright Date:
2 March 1916
Copyright Number:
LU7746
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York en route from a French convent to one in Montreal, novice Fidele Roget is captured by a white slaver. During her escape, she witnesses a murder and then meets Jim Webster, who is about to commit suicide. She dissuades him, and he decides to help her get to Canada. On the way, however, he is arrested and ordered to stand trial for murder. Jim tells Fidele that he is being framed by his butler, who killed a man and then made all the evidence point to his employer. Fidele realizes that this is the murder she witnessed and decides to catch the real killer. Posing as a maid in the Webster household, she manages to trick the butler into a confession and then trades in a life devoted to the church for one devoted to Jim, whom she ... +


In New York en route from a French convent to one in Montreal, novice Fidele Roget is captured by a white slaver. During her escape, she witnesses a murder and then meets Jim Webster, who is about to commit suicide. She dissuades him, and he decides to help her get to Canada. On the way, however, he is arrested and ordered to stand trial for murder. Jim tells Fidele that he is being framed by his butler, who killed a man and then made all the evidence point to his employer. Fidele realizes that this is the murder she witnessed and decides to catch the real killer. Posing as a maid in the Webster household, she manages to trick the butler into a confession and then trades in a life devoted to the church for one devoted to Jim, whom she marries. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.