Hearts in Exile (1915)

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The John Oxenham stage melodrama Hearts in Exile was first transferred to the Big Screen in 1915 by the World Film Corporation. Clara Kimball Young stars as Hope Ivanova, the daughter of a Russian fisherman. Turned down by her true love Paul Pavloff (Vernon Steele), Hope marries Baron Serge Palma (Claude Fleming) on the rebound. After another of Russia's periodic political upheavals, both Paul and Serge are exiled to Siberia. Sentenced to a longer term, Serge persuades Paul to exchange identities with him, so that Serge can be more quickly reunited with Hope. Later on, Hope herself shows up in Siberia, requesting a visit with her imprisoned husband. Ushered to the cabin wherein Paul resides, Hope falls in love with her ex-beau all over again. In the original play, Serge gallantly commits suicide to remove himself from the picture; the film goes off in an entirely different direction, but the end result is pretty much the same. Stealing focus in all of his scenes is Montagu Love as Count Nicolai, the man responsible for Serge and Paul's incarceration. Interestingly, the character of Count Nicolai was eliminated from the 1929 remake of Hearts in Exile, which starred Dolores Costello.