As described in a film magazine A. J. Raffles (Barrymore), a highly educated crook with entree to the best social circles, steals for the love of it and the thrill of the chase, enjoying outwitting the police and amateur detectives. An international swindler who has possession of a priceless “rose pearl” takes passage on a steamship and Raffles does likewise. Miles from land, Raffles determines that the swindler has hidden the pearl in a cavity in his shoe. After getting the pearl, Raffles empties a cartridge from his revolver and puts the pearl inside. There is an outcry over the theft, and on searching Raffles’ cabin, a ship’s officer takes the gun and removes all of the cartridges. Raffles grabs the cartridges and places them in his mouth and then jumps overboard, swimming to land. During his escape he was seen by Mrs. Vidal (Mayo), an English society woman with whom he had been flirting. Raffles reappears in London, mixing with the upper class, where he is recognized by Mrs. Vidal. She falls in love with him and attempts to force him to love her by threatening to tell of his past theft. Raffles defies her. The famous diamond necklace of Lady Melrose (Brundage) disappears while Raffles is a guest of the house. Mrs. Vidal immediately suspects that Raffles is the thief and again threatens to expose him, but he laughs at her. Captain Bedford (Perry), an amateur detective, declares that he will find the thief responsible for the Melrose robbery and even makes a bet with Raffles that the thief will be arrested. Bedford is sure that Raffles is the thief. Raffles then uses some ingenious methods to get the diamond necklace out of his possession, but still have it at his disposal when needed. Finally, after he loses the bet, Bedford proves that Raffles is the thief and Raffles shows that he took them only to prevent a professional thief from stealing them.
Director: George Irving
Screenplay: Anthony Paul Kelly
Produced by: L. Lawrence Weber
Story by: E. W. Hornung, Eugene Wiley Presbrey
Stars: John Barrymore, Christine Mayo, H. Cooper Cliffe