Soul for Sale (1918)

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Acceding to the demands of her status-seeking mother, Nella Pendleton (Dorothy Phillips) agrees to marry a wealthy but much older man. As a result, Nella is obliged to forsake her true love, oil wildcatter Steele Minturn (Albert Roscoe). When Steele strikes it rich, he comes back to town in hopes of reclaiming the heroine -- who by this time has had enough of her abusive, morally reprehensible husband. The part of Nella's decrepit hubby was played by William Burress, best known for his performance as the irascible toymaker in Laurel and Hardy's Babes in Toyland. Several of the boudoir scenes in A Soul for Sale were quite racy for their time, prompting the reviewer for the trade magazine Variety to wonder where the censor was.