Love's Conquest (1918)

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Italian actress Lina Cavalieri was starred in the Paramount historical drama Love's Conquest. The scene is 16th-century Greece, where Gismonda (Cavalieri) reigns as Duchess of Athens. Besieged by eligible suitors, Gismonda turns them all down, considering them unworthy stepfathers for her beloved son Francesco. Villainous German prince Gregoras kidnaps Francesco and threatens to throw the boy to the lions should Gismonda turn down his marriage proposal. She responds by promising her hand in marriage -- and promising her kingdom to any man who will step forward and rescue Francesco. That man turns out to be Almerio (Courtenay Foote), a courageous huntsman. Though grateful, Gismonda cannot bring herself to marry a "commoner." She offers Almerio a huge monetary reward, which he refuses, holding her to her original promise. After a while, Almerio relents and frees Gismonda from fulfilling her obligation to him -- but the story is far from over, thanks to the ongoing perfidy of the ubiquitous Prince Gregoras.