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A silent film, released in 1923. It was directed by John Griffith Wray and written by C. Gardner Sullivan. It starred Dorothy Davenport, James Kirkwood, Bessie Love, George Hackathorne, Claire McDowell, and Robert McKim.

The driving force behind this production was actually the lead actress, Dorothy Davenport, whose husband, Wallace Reid, an A-list leading man, had recently died in a sanitarium while trying to kick his morphine addiction. At the time, drug addiction was never mentioned in movies, but Davenport had enough clout to get a film made that openly discussed drugs. She rallied Thomas H. Ince, a powerful producer, to help her and got technical help from the Los Angeles Anti-Narcotics League. The final film was a brutal and unflinching drama focusing on a tight-knit family torn apart by drug abuse. It was extraordinarily successful with both critics and movie-goers and was even praised by politicians.

However, despite its overwhelmingly positive reception, the film didn't inspire other filmmakers to examine similar taboo subjects, and the movie began to diminish in importance as memory of Wallace Reid faded. No prints of the film are known to exist today.

Sources: http://www.filmthreat.com/Features.asp?File=FeaturesOne.inc&Id=440 and the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

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