Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman (1917)





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Author E.W. Hornung's charismatic rogue was tailor-made for John Barrymore. As Raffles, he wins the heart of Mrs. Vidal (Christine Mayo) and loses his own to the beautiful Gwendolyn (Evenlyn Brent), all while making off with the Melrose jewels, much to the frustration of another thief, Crawshay (Mike Donlin). Detective Bedford (Frederick Perry) is determined to catch Raffles. Instead, he loses a bet to the gentleman crook, who uses the money to help a friend (Frank Morgan) pay off a gambling debt. He then returns the jewels to Gwendolyn and admits his true identity but also insists that he has reformed. The Great Profile may have been the best Raffles of the silent era (the other one of note was House Peters), but when the talkies came in, both Ronald Coleman and David Niven also made the character their own.
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