The Silken Spider

Release Date:   3/7/1916
Distributor:   Mutual
Reels:   3
Brand:   Flying A
Genre:   Drama
Director:   Frank Borzage
Confirmed Cast:   Vivian Rich, Alfred Vosburgh, George Periolat, Louise Lester, Warren Ellsworth
Story Summary:

Brian Leonard is a millionaire whose sole occupation is the amassing of wealth. He is cold, hard, and the element of love has been almost extinguished. In this environment, his motherless, loveless daughter, Bona, grew up to womanhood. Ursula, Leonard's mistress, inveigles him into marriage, and when he learns that she is playing fast and loose with his affections, he makes a will in which he leaves the major portion of his estate to Bona, and bequeaths an income upon Ursula. Learning of this, Ursula plans to gain possession of his estate in the event of his death, and to further her ends she endeavors to bring about the marriage of her son, Neal, and Bona. But Bona detests Neal.

Then Ursula recalls a remark of Leonard's that should Bona ever bring disgrace upon his name, he would disown her. She conspires with Caleb Giles, a society idler, to affect Bona's ruin. When she begs him to marry her, he refuses. Bona confesses to Ursula and Neal is persuaded to again ask her to marry him. Believing Neal's love to be sincere, Bona agrees.

Shortly before the wedding Neal is killed in a gambling row. Disgrace not seems inevitable and Bona determines to commit suicide. She goes to the wharf, but is prevented in her purpose by the Reverend Lewis Dunstan, who takes her to her father. When Leonard hears her story he disowns her. Rev. Dunstan denounces him for his heartlessness, but this results only in his being forced to resign his pastorate. Dunstan takes Bona to his home, where she is cared for by his mother. The child dies and Bona enters settlement work. Giles, a fugitive from justice for the murder of Neal, enters the settlement home one day, in a dying condition. On his death bed he sends for Ursula and Leonard and confesses the conspiracy. Bona is forgiven and both Leonard and Ursula see the folly of their pursuit of wealth. They begin anew to live for love, and it is obvious that Bona and Dunstan will eventually marry.

- Moving Picture World, March 11, 1916

Unique Occurrences:

The initial title for this project was "Dollars and Dross".


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