Camille (1915)

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The first important film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' tragic novel Lady of the Camelias was filmed in 1916 under the title Camille. Clara Kimball Young was cast as the consumptive courtesan heroine, while Paul Capellini, brother of the film's director Albert Capellini, co-starred as Armand Duval. Falling in love with the guileless Armand, the worldly Camille agrees to marry him but is gently talked out of her decision by Armand's father (played by the "original" Robert Cummings), who is all too aware that any such alliance is foredoomed. As in all future adaptions of the Dumas original, the film's highlight was the deathbed scene, in which the withering Camille smiles wanly as Armand tearfully expresses his undying affection. Later adaptations of Camille starred such formidable female talents as Alla Nazimova, Norma Talmadge, and, of course, Greta Garbo.