Best Crime Movies of 1917
Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman
AJ Raffles, a handsome jewel thief masquerades as a gentleman of society fitting in with well-to-do people. He dons a mask and waits for an opportune moment to steal belongings, usually some jewelry and to take advantage of unsuspecting women whether at an estate or aboard a passenger ship. Raffles knows secret passageways to aid his escape from capture such as disappearing into a large grandfather clock that is really a secret doorway. He even eludes capture by jumping off a ship and swimming to shore while women passengers fire pistols at him.
In the film, Cunard plays a jewel thief pursuing the same wealthy marks as another thief, played by Francis Ford.
Roscoe is a doctor who falls in love with a pretty woman whose boyfriend, in turn, falls in love with Roscoe's wife's jewelry.
A Bid for Fortune
An occult scientist tries to steal a collector's Chinese staff.
The Bad Boy
Small town youth Jimmie Bates is a well-intentioned, but troubled youth. Jimmie is a rowdy boy who is always getting into trouble and playing pranks on his friends and neighbors. Although deeply in love with young Mary, he eventually spurns Mary's affection for the more outgoing and worldly young Ruth.
The Double Room Mystery
William Newman, a notorious shyster lawyer, in return for a cut of the jewels, agrees to take the case of Morris, a man convicted of stealing diamonds. After gaining possession of the gems, Newman appropriates all of them and then refuses to carry out his share of the deal. Subsequently, Newman, who is attracted to Georgianna, a maid at his boardinghouse, frames the girl on charges of theft and then arranges for her freedom, thus appearing to be her savior.
Gunman Chuck Connelly is hired to silence the new district attorney who has been pounding the graft organizations. Chuck goes to the D. A.'s home to threaten him, but is taken off guard when his victim's little daughter leans trustfully on his knee and looks up at him with a smile. The D. A. ignores Chuck's warning, and the gang orders the gunman to execute him. Chuck breaks into the house, but sees the little girl again and is unable to complete his task. Instead, he seeks out his girl friend, Annie Mangan, a Salvation Army reformer, and swears to end his life of crime.
Kick In is a lost 1917 silent film crime melodrama directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring William Courtenay. It is based on the 1914 Broadway play of the same name by Willard Mack.
The Saintly Sinner
When her father goes broke in the stock market, Jane Lee is forced to leave her prestigious boarding school. Glad-handing John Brock, an old friend of Jane's father, arranges for the girl to be hired as his stenographer. But Brock's lecherous ulterior motives become obvious when he locks Jane in the office and tries to rape her. When she manages to escape his advances, Brock vengefully frames the girl on a robbery charge.
The Reed Case
When, after three years of active service, ace detective Jerry Brennon is ordered by his doctor to take a rest, Senator Reed, Jerry's staunch supporter since he arrested two crooks burglarizing the Reed home, prevails upon the detective to stay at his cabin in the mountains. Warned that the cabin is haunted, Jerry's suspicion is aroused when a bullet whizzes past his head.
The Edge of the Law
Nancy Glenn is a pupil in Pop Hogland's school for crooks. When, attired as a boy named "Spider", Nancy fails at her lessons as a pickpocket, Pop decides to pair her with Pliny Drew, a graduate thief and swindler.
Her Fighting Chance
Corporal Blake is sent to apprehend the murderer of François Breault. All evidence points to Jan Thoreau as the guilty man. Blake arrives at Thoreau's cabin while he is away and is greeted by his wife Marie. Posing as a friend of her husband, Blake learns that Thoreau and Breault had quarreled shortly before the murder. This, together with Breault's dying accusation that Thoreau was his murderer, seems undeniable evidence. Blake, fascinated by Marie, agrees to let Thoreau escape, providing that she become his mistress. After much anguish, she consents. When Thoreau arrives, Blake arrests him but during the night Marie helps him escape. Blake goes in pursuit.
Caught in the End
A businessman's jealous wife suspects he is running around with other women. The tables are turned when a friend of the family involves her in a stock scheme. Her husband begins to suspect that she and her "partner" are involved in more than just business, not knowing that the scheme has gone bad and she has lost all the money she invested.
Brothers James and Allen Mornington are both addicted to cocaine and both believe that their addiction is caused by a hereditary failing. James rises to the position of judge, but when Allen is brought into his court on drug charges, James resigns. The two brothers, along with James's daughter, Hilda, then retire to the country to fight their desire for drugs.
The Phantom's Secret
At the death of Count de Beaulieu, his daughter Jeanne learns that her father had been the arch-criminal known as The Phantom. The only other person who knew her father's identity was his lieutenant, Franz Leroux, who now demands that Jeanne marry him in return for his silence.
From a Montana mining camp, a young man progresses to the society heights of New York, making his mark publicly as a dancer, but secretly as a gentleman burglar.
When a bank is on the verge of collapse, its president, George Fuller, uses his own fortune to cover its losses. Unknown to Fuller, however, Monroe Simmons, his vice-president, is undermining the bank for his own purposes. Then Tom Williams, who is in love with Fuller's daughter Ethel, asks his uncle, famous detective "Whispering Smith," to investigate the case.