Cast & Crew
W. H. Gibson
Ruth Carroll, a schoolteacher in New York's Lower East Side, meets Bolshevist Alexis Minski at her grandfather's bookstore. After Ruth complains to her superintendent about undernourished schoolchildren, Minski's ravings cause her suspension, and she joins the Reds. Meanwhile, Captain Nathan Levison, returning from the Argonne, is assigned by the Secret Service to investigate New York's radicals. While visiting the Carrolls to announce the imminent arrival of Ruth's brother Davy, who saved Levison's life but lost his foot, Levison falls in love with Ruth. Chagrined, Minski convinces Ruth that Levison plans to arrest her and her grandfather, whereupon Ruth furiously requests that Levison be killed. After Governor Alfred E. Smith signs a bill making it illegal to display the Red flag, the Bolshevists plot to assassinate him, the Mayor of Seattle, and Attorney General Alexander Palmer, but Davy, with other soldiers, break up the meeting. Davy convinces Ruth of Minski's perfidy, and they save Levison. Ruth marries Levison, and at a wedding attended by the governor, Davy marries a reformed Bolshevist.
W. H. Gibson
Governor Alfred E. Smith
This film was shot at the Biograph studios in New York. According to Variety, Governor Alfred E. Smith, who appears in the film, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt, withdrew their official sanction and endorsement after complaints were made from a Yiddish daily that the film was strongly anti-Semitic. Because of this, producer Harry Raver and author Augustus Thomas made the villain "Minski," whose appearance and gestures were stereotypically Jewish, say in a subtitle, "I am not a Jew; I am a Bolshevik." Raver and Thomas also changed the name of the hero from "Captain Garland" to "Captain Nathan Levison." The film had a pre-release special showing by the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to government and political leaders at midnight, July 4, 1919. There was also a pre-release special showing to editors of the leading Jewish newspapers and periodicals.