Case of Becky (1921)

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Uriah Stone (Montagu Love) is a hypnotist who runs a sideshow. His assistant, Dorothy (Constance Binney), is under his spell -- when he gives her a hypnotic stare and waves a diamond ring in front of her, she becomes Becky, her evil alter ego. One of Stone's subjects advises Dorothy to run away. She escapes to a small town where she stays with Mrs. Arnold (Jane Jennings) and her son, John (Glenn Hunter). Dorothy falls in love with John, but when he proposes to her and flashes a diamond ring at her, she suddenly becomes Becky. Dr. Emerson, a nerve specialist (Frank McCormack), is called in to treat Dorothy, and he takes her to his sanitarium. Stone traces Dorothy there and tries to get her back by revealing papers claiming her as his daughter. Dr. Emerson suspects that Stone is really Professor Balzamo, who ran off with his wife and little girl many years before. Through his own mental powers, Dr. Emerson breaks Stone/Balzamo and restores Dorothy to her normal, sweet self. Dorothy, it turns out, is Dr. Emerson's daughter. Once again, John brings out the engagement ring, which this time only inspires a loving reaction from Dorothy. Edward Locke's play (which was staged by David Belasco) was brought to the screen once before, in 1915, and starred Blanche Sweet.

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Keywords

bad-guy, confusion, damsel-in-distress, doctor/nurse, good-guy, hypnosis, mental-illness, professor, rescue, research, schizophrenia