DirectorMaurice Tourneur Produced byHope Hampton DistributorParamount Pictures
LanguageSilent (English intertitles) Release dateJanuary 2, 1921 (1921-01-02) Based onThe Tiger Lady
by Sidney Toler WriterJohn Gilbert, Sidney Toler (play) GenresDrama, Silent film, Crime Fiction Related Maurice Tourneur moviesThe Wishing Ring (1914), A Girls Folly (1917), Lorna Doone (1922), The Last of the Mohicans (1920)
The Bait is a 1921 American silent crime drama film produced by and starring Hope Hampton, directed by Maurice Tourneur, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. John Gilbert, then working for Tourneur, wrote the scenario (silent film version of a screenplay) based on the stage play The Tiger Lady by Sidney Toler. Filmed in 1920, the picture was released a day after New Year's 1921. The Bait is now considered to be a lost film.
Joan Grainger (Hampton) is about to be "sent up" to prison after being falsely accused of stealing when she is kidnapped by Bennett Barton (McDonald), mastermind of a band of crooks of which Simpson (Singleton) is a member. Joan accepts Bennett's assistance when he sends her to Europe and later joins her. They live in luxury when she meets John Warren (Woodward), a wealthy American. Joan receives her first jar of suspicion when Bennett introduces her to John as being Bennett's daughter. Bennett later tells her the plan is for her to marry John so that they will have access to the money. The girl rebels but Bennett threatens to send her back to prison or, still worse, expose her to John, with whom she has now fallen in love. The entire party return to the United States where Bennett forces Joan to accept John's proposal of marriage. In the meantime some members of Bennett's gang have double-crossed him and tell Joan of the original theft frame-up. A signed confession is secured from the girl that did the framing. In the effort to secure the confession, Bennett is killed by Simpson, who had been after the "goods" on Bennett. John is willing to have Joan despite all of this and they are happy.