|The Great Deception was a silent melodrama
featuring Basil Rathbone as a World War I German agent. I have not seen
the film, so I cannot
offer my own review of it. What follows is from Michael Druxman's book Basil
Life and Films,* pages 115-116.
"The Great Deception" was an exciting,
but somewhat implausible, tale of espionage during World War I.
Cyril Mansfield (Ben Lyon) works in England for the German Secret
Service, yet is, in fact, loyal to British Intelligence. A German
agent, Rizzio (Rathbone), suspects Cyril's disloyalty to the
Fatherland and abducts his girl friend, Lois (Aileen Pringle). She
innocently betrays her lover and the pair are condemned to death.
Luckily, they are able to escape before the sentence is carried
* Basil Rathbone: His Life and His Films, by Michael B. Druxman (South Brunswick
and New York: A.S. Barnes), 1975. (Out of print, but available from the
author. If interested click
According to the New York Times, Rathbone played the role of
the German agent in a convincing fashion.
The Great Deception was based on the 1915 novel The
Yellow Dove by George Gibbs. Another film, Shadows of
Suspicion, made in 1919, was also based on The Yellow Dove. The
characters' names are different, so apparently The Great
Deception is not a remake of the earlier film, but a different version
of the story.
Rathbone, Aileen Pringle, and Ben Lyon
Rathbone and Aileen Pringle