The Honor System (1917)

Drama | February 1917

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HISTORY

The prison scenes in this film were shot at the Arizona State Prison. This picture was re-released by Fox in 1920. According to letters included in the copyright descriptions for this film, Emma del Pierson claimed that The Honor System was an infringement of her unpublished scenario entitled "Wizards Love" and planned to take legal action against William Fox. According to the story included in the copyright descriptions, many of the words attributed to the Governor in the story were actually from Governor George W. P. Hunt of Arizona. The film had its premiere in New York on 6 Feb 1917 at the Lyric theater. S. L. Rothapfel staged this production, which was divided into three acts, and arranged the incidental music. The 1918 MPSD lists Henry I. MacMahon as the film's press representative. Raoul Walsh, in his autobiography, relates that Governor Hunt sent a convict serving a life sentence to the premiere, who afterward escaped, heading for Canada. Walsh also mentions that John Twist, who later headed the story department at RKO, helped with the idea for the ... More Less

The prison scenes in this film were shot at the Arizona State Prison. This picture was re-released by Fox in 1920. According to letters included in the copyright descriptions for this film, Emma del Pierson claimed that The Honor System was an infringement of her unpublished scenario entitled "Wizards Love" and planned to take legal action against William Fox. According to the story included in the copyright descriptions, many of the words attributed to the Governor in the story were actually from Governor George W. P. Hunt of Arizona. The film had its premiere in New York on 6 Feb 1917 at the Lyric theater. S. L. Rothapfel staged this production, which was divided into three acts, and arranged the incidental music. The 1918 MPSD lists Henry I. MacMahon as the film's press representative. Raoul Walsh, in his autobiography, relates that Governor Hunt sent a convict serving a life sentence to the premiere, who afterward escaped, heading for Canada. Walsh also mentions that John Twist, who later headed the story department at RKO, helped with the idea for the film. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
ETR
24 Feb 17
p. 835.
Motog
24 Feb 17
p. 424.
MPN
23 Dec 17
p. 3984.
MPN
8 Feb 19
p. 804.
MPW
3 Mar 17
p. 1370.
NYDM
27 Jan 17
p. 65.
NYDM
17 Feb 17
p. 32.
Wid's
3 May 17
pp. 274-75.
DETAILS
Release Date:
February 1917
Copyright Claimant:
William Fox
Copyright Date:
4 December 1916
Copyright Number:
LP9660
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Convicted of murder for killing a man in self-defense, Joseph Stanton is sentenced to life imprisonment. By circumstances, Stanton is enabled to send a plea to the governor asking him to investigate the deplorable conditions in the prison, and the governor institutes legislation establishing the honor system in the prison and improving the living conditions. This does not please Senator Harrington, a crooked politician who refuses to pardon Stanton in spite of the recommendation of officials. Harrington agrees to give Stanton three days leave from prison, however, on the condition that if he fails to return on time, the honor system shall be abolished. Harrington schemes to kidnap Stanton and hold him until after the deadline, but Stanton escapes in time to save the system. The senator is then exposed and sent to jail, and Stanton - his innocence established - is free to marry the warden's daughter ... +


Convicted of murder for killing a man in self-defense, Joseph Stanton is sentenced to life imprisonment. By circumstances, Stanton is enabled to send a plea to the governor asking him to investigate the deplorable conditions in the prison, and the governor institutes legislation establishing the honor system in the prison and improving the living conditions. This does not please Senator Harrington, a crooked politician who refuses to pardon Stanton in spite of the recommendation of officials. Harrington agrees to give Stanton three days leave from prison, however, on the condition that if he fails to return on time, the honor system shall be abolished. Harrington schemes to kidnap Stanton and hold him until after the deadline, but Stanton escapes in time to save the system. The senator is then exposed and sent to jail, and Stanton - his innocence established - is free to marry the warden's daughter Edith. +

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.