My Lady's Slipper (1916)

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A story by Cyrus Townsend Brady was the foundation for the lavish Vitagraph star vehicle My Lady's Slipper. The popular Anita Stewart and Earle Williams were cast respectively as the Countess Gabrielle de Villars and American lieutenant Francis Burnham. The story is set in the late 18th century, during the Revolutionary War. Freshly escaped from a British prison ship, Burnham is forced to become a highwayman. In the course of his adventures, he rescues Countess Gabrielle from her would-be abductor, the Marquis de Tremignon (Harry Northrup). Later on, the treacherous Marquis blackmails Burnham into cooperating in a scheme that would compel King Louis XVI (Joseph Kilgour) to order a marriage between the Marquis and Gabrielle. Burnham is to plant the Countess' slipper in the Marquis' bedchambers, as "proof" of her indiscretion. By now, however, Burnham has himself fallen in love with Gabrielle, thus he tries to save her from disgrace, again landing in jail as a result. Only the intervention of Benjamin Franklin (Charles Chapman), the American ambassador to the court of King Louis, rescues Burnham from the hangman's noose.