Pawn of Fate (1916)

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Most closely associated with "Italian" characterizations, George Beban switched nationalities to play a Frenchman in director Maurice Tourneur's The Pawn of Fate. Set in Normandy, the story concerns peasant farmer Pierre Dufresne (Beban), who discovers almost by accident that he is a brilliant painter. Discovered by Parisian artist Andre Lesar (John Davidson), Dufresne and his giddy wife Marcine (Doris Kenyon) are whisked off to the City of Light, where they are wined and dined by the intelligentsia. But while Pierre fields the questions asked him by the local artistes, Lesar begins moving in on Marcine. Discovering his wife in Lesar's arms, Pierre throws her out of the room and locks himself in with Lesar, declaring that only one of them will emerge alive. The quick-thinking Lesar manages to avert disaster, but Pierre will not be totally satisfied until he and Marcine have safely returned to Normandy, where he never again touches a paintbrush to a canvas.