Labyrinth (1915)

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The same week that actress Emily Stevens was seen in a dual role in Metro's The House of Tears, Gail Kane was likewise essaying a double role in Equitable's The Labyrinth. Actually, the two "parts" played by Kane -- Florence Burgess and Flo Burke -- were one character, but she was still billed under both monikers. As Florence Burgess, the heroine works as a dancer in a cheap cabaret to care for her crippled sister Frances (Polly Chapman). Fired from her job, Florence changes her billing to Flo Burke -- as in Flo Ziegfeld and Billie Burke -- in hopes of landing an assignment in a "legit" Broadway show. She is offered the opportunity to do so, but it would mean sacrificing her virtue to a rapacious producer (Edward Roseman). Refusing to thus compromise herself, Flo resorts to a clever subterfuge, forcing the producer to sign her to a fat five-year contract. She becomes an overnight Broadway success, only to fall in love with a minister (Richard Neal) who disapproves of "show folk." Managing to keep the minister in the dark as to her profession (evidently the man has never read a newspaper in his life), Flo marries him, preparing to retire from the stage to devote herself to her marriage. But her producer reminds her that she's tied to a five-year contract, and he doesn't intend to let her off the hook. Eventually, the minister learns the truth about Flo's source of income. He draws his life savings out of the bank, pays off the producer for the remainder of the contract, and informs Flo that, actress or no, he loves her anyway.