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Gentleman's Fate

(1931 b 93')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A gentleman learns his money came from the bootlegging racket of his dying father and brother, gets involved, loses his fiancé, and is killed.

Jack Thomas (John Gilbert) tells his butler to burn photos and his phonebook, because he's going to get married. Marjorie (Leila Hyams) tells Jack to ask her parents. Jack's guardian Mario (Paul Porcasi) tells him he has plenty of money; but Jack is not an orphan. His father is dying from a bullet and wants to see him. Jack calls on his brother Frank (Louis Wolheim), who gives him a drink and says they run booze. With the money given him Jack does not work. His father is glad he is a gentleman and gives him emeralds. Frank learns someone is hijacking their booze. He and Jack will have a million dollars, and he offers Jack $50,000 for his marriage. At dinner Marjorie gives Jack a book of poetry, and he gives her the emeralds, saying he is going away for a week.

Marjorie calls Jack and says the emeralds are stolen. Frank tells her to come there. Frank tells Jack to take the rap instead of their father. Marjorie asks Jack where he got the emeralds, and he says he stole them. Frank hits Jack and keeps Marjorie from leaving. Jack gets out of jail after ten days when the charge is dropped. Frank tells Jack he gave the woman $10,000 to drop the charges. He and Jack fight. Jack gets a note from Marjorie she is going to forget the affair. Frank tells Jack their father died. Jack says he can't go back to his friends and agrees to work the racket in Canada. He goes along on a run to learn. Jack hears shots and shoots Dante, because he was about to shoot Frank.

Florio (John Miljan) learns that Jack killed his man Dante. Jack returns from Canada. Frank is having a "peace banquet" for Florio and tells Jack to sit with Ruth; she was Dante's girlfriend, but now she is one of them. Frank tells a policeman it is a peace banquet. Ruth (Anita Page) reminds Jack of Marjorie, and he kisses her. Florio tells Frank they can work together, but he wants Dante's killer. Jack comes in with Ruth. Jack and Florio start to fight; but police come in and prevent violence. Jack tells Frank he wants to quit the racket. Frank shows Jack Marjorie's bridal photo, and Jack gets drunk. Jack marries Ruth. Florio plans to shoot Ruth and Jack. A man makes a call to warn them and is shot by Florio. Florio calls on Ruth; but she and Jack shoot him. Jack is also shot. In bed Jack tells Frank to get out of the racket. Frank says he will do so and will take care of Ruth, as Jack dies.

This morality tale shows the violence between competing gangs for the liquor business during Prohibition. Jack's parents wanted him protected from it, so he could be a gentleman; but his father's dying wish draws him in, and he is destroyed by violence.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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