Many film critics felt that Wallace Reid graduated from mere leading man to full-fledged star in his 1917 vehicle The Hostage. The story is set in an unidentified European country, where civil war rages between the Lowlanders and Highlanders. Circumstances dictate that Brigadier Kemper of the Lowlanders offer his son Ivo (Reid) as a hostage during a temporary truce. Kemper expects Ivo to escape at the first opportunity, but instead the young man casts his lot with Highland leader Boyadi (Noah Beery Sr.), an honorable man. He also wins the love of Boyadi's lovely daughter Nathalea (Dorothea Abril). Alas, the time comes that Ivo must choose between loyalty to his homeland and his friendship with Boyadi -- a dilemma that is resolved in a surprisingly quick and perfunctory manner. It was said at the time that author Beulah Marie Dix wrote The Hostage as an act of attrition for her previous pacifist sentiments, which had been rendered unfashionable (to say the least) by 1917.
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