Borrowed Clothes (1918)

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Mildred Harris plays a poor working girl whose head is turned by the finer things in life. While at the beach with her boyfriend, a simple rather dull guy, a bathhouse catches fire, burning up their clothes. A rich man, who has been lusting after the girl, takes this opportunity to offer his coat and to take her to his home. There, she is introduced to the perks of the wealthy and becomes dissatisfied with what she has at home. She turns down her boyfriend's marriage proposal and goes to the rich man. He asks her to become his mistress, but his former girlfriend finds out and calls the police in an attempt to get the girl in trouble. Although she escapes, the girl goes home to find her family enraged by her actions. It takes amends on the part of the rich man to make things right. The studio that made this picture, Universal, had director Lois Weber add a touch of social consciousness to the plot's sensationalism and then exploited Mildred Harris' status as Mrs. Charlie Chaplin in hopes of making a tidy profit.

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Keywords

escape, girlfriend, mistress, police, temptation, wealth