A valuable necklace is the "maguffin" in this Pathe melodrama. For his sweetheart's sake, a headstrong young man steals the necklace. Arrested for his crime, the hero is released several years later. Though he has paid for his sins, the stigma of his prison term prevents the young man from finding employment. Will he give up the ghost and resort to stealing again -- and will he once again pilfer that cursed necklace? Though Shadow of the Past was advertised as a morality play, it spent an inordinate amount of time showing the criminal's "modus operandi" in loving detail.
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