Flesh and Spirit (1922)

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In one of her sporadic screen appearances, stage actress Belle Bennett starred in this inspirational melodramas as Truth Eldridge, a young woman in love with her cousin (Walter Ringham). The latter, an atheist scientist who believes all religion to be bogus superstition, is too self centered to pay her any attention -- until, that is, she is brutally murdered by one of his rivals (Denton Vane). According to the trade-paper Moving Picture World, Truth then "returns in spirit form and frequently appears in the man's vision, finally convincing him that there is a God." Although she had appeared in films intermittently since 1914, Belle Bennett failed to make much of an impact until 1925, when she became the very symbol of self-sacrificing motherhood as Stella Dallas.