The Dishonored Medal (1914) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • While with the French Foreign Legion in Algeria, Lt. Dubois seduces the lovely Zora, leaving her with a child and his medal for bravery. Sheik Achmed generously befriends Zora, and when she is killed in an accident he raises her son, El Rabb, as his own, and soon El Rabb and Achmed's biological son Bel Khan become best friends. Years later Lt. Dubois, now a general, is dispatched to Algeria to crush a revolt led by El Rabb and Bel Khan--and he doesn't know that El Rabb is his son--who wears his father's medal around his neck.

  • "The Dishonored Medal" is a very powerful, tragic story of the French occupation of Algeria. It is the story of a French officer with whom a native Algerian girl becomes infatuated, and to quiet her conscience he gave her his medal, presumably of the Legion of Honor. The girl's Algerian lover throws himself from the cliff and is killed. The French officer leaves the country, and the girl with her child searches through the mountains for trace of him. She eventually loses her life in a struggle to protect herself from a native libertine, and an old Algerian adopts the baby boy, raising him with his own son, as brothers. The two boys grow up, fall in love with the same girl, and the French officer comes back with high authority to rule over the district. He sees the girl and has her brought to his tent. This so enrages the two boys that they incite rebellion, and war takes place. In the battle the Algerians are almost entirely wiped out, but the two boys survive, gain the officers' tent, and while the adopted boy, the son of the French officer, fatally stabs his father, the other youth escapes with the girl. As the father dies he recognizes the medal suspended from the boy's neck, and dies with the knowledge that justice has reached him through the hands of his own son.


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