Cast & Crew
After Charley Steele, a cynical, hard-drinking, brilliant attorney, acquits Jo Portugais of murder, he contemptuously informs his client that he is "guilty as hell." Time passes and Steele, involved in a drunken brawl, is rescued by the man he condemned. Suffering from amnesia, he is taken to the village of Chaudiere and nursed back to health but steadfastedly refuses to profess a belief in God until he meets Rosalie, the Rose of Chaudiere, who restores his faith in mankind. One night, while protecting the funds of the church from two thieves, Steele is mortally wounded and dies redeemed in the arms of Rosalie. [In the alternate ending, Steele is shown venturing into the woods with Jo Portugais with the hope of resolving his doubts and asking Rosalie to marry him.]
Author Gilbert Parker was knighted in 1902 after the success of this novel. A play based on the novel opened in New York on November 4, 1907. Metro filmed two different endings to the story: one followed the course of the novel with the death of the hero; the other was a "happy ending." The exhibitor could choose to show only one ending or both at different showings. Some scenes were shot in the forests near Monterey, CA, at Lake Tahoe, CA and in the Hollywood foothills. For information concerning other films based on the novel, see notes for the 1915 version above.