Cast & Crew
Cardinal Mercier protects the altar of his church from desecration when German forces invade the Belgian city of Louvain during World War I. Although the soldiers commit widespread atrocities, the cardinal does his best to protect the townspeople. Cardinal Mercier's young ward, Liane de Merode, is betrothed to Belgian officer Maurice Lambeaux, but the German governor general tries to gain possession of her against the cardinal's will. Despite the plotting of the governor general, Maurice breaks through the German lines in a disguise. Secretly the cardinal marries the young couple and smuggles them across the border to France.
Working titles for the film were Cardinal Mercier and The Cardinal. The film was originally to be released in eight reels under the title The Cardinal. According to a review, some of the military scenes were shot in Belgium, and were part of the formal records of the invasion, and the interiors of the Cardinal's residence were accurate copies made from enlarged photographs. The film was shown on March 26, 1918 at Carnegie Hall under the auspices of the Knights of Columbus for the Catholic war fund. James Cardinal Gibbons saw it in Baltimore in a private showing and said that he "was much pleased," according to a news item. Another news item notes that William A. Brady, the head of World Film Corp., made the film as a personal venture. It was then purchased by World Film Corp.