Desire (1923)

Run Time - 80 min.  |  
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Supposedly, the theme of this tragic drama was meant to show the difference between love and desire. The film, however, was done in by poor editing and wasted a good silent-era cast. Madelyn Harlan (Estelle Taylor) and Bob Elkins (John Bowers) are about to get married, but at the altar, Madelyn decides she is not in love and they agree to go their separate ways. Madelyn, a socialite, falls in love with her chauffeur, Jerry Ryan (David Butler), while Elkins meets the sweet, unsophisticated Ruth Cassell (Marguerite de la Motte). Madelyn marries Ryan, only to discover that his parents (Nick Cogley and Sylvia Ashton) are hopelessly low class. Then her own parents (Ralph Lewis and Vera Lewis -- no, they weren't related) find out about the marriage and disown her. Madelyn takes poison and Ryan drives his car off a dock. Things end more happily for Elkins, who decides that he has found real love with Ruth.

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Keywords

aristocracy, chauffeur, forbidden-love, love, marriage, mother, poison, star-crossed-lovers, suicide, tragic-love