Souls in Bondage (1916)

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Nance O'Neill, an actress most closely associated with grim, "Grand Guignol"-style films, was star of the Lubin five-reeler Souls in Bondage. This is the tale of two sisters, the younger of whom (Ida Stanhope) is spoiled rotten in childhood, while the other (O'Neill) is forced to wait on her sibling hand and foot and to shoulder the blame for the other girl's misbehavior. Upon reaching adulthood, the "favored" sister heads to the City, where she goes bad in a hurry. When the girl deserts her illegitimate baby, the older sister steps forward to assume responsibility for the child, allowing the local townsfolk to assume that the baby is hers and not the younger sister's. Disgraced in the eyes of the community, Older Sister leaves town, becoming the paid companion of a wealthy woman. When her employer dies, she marries the woman's son, and for the first time in her life lives in luxury. But the marriage quickly goes sour, and her husband begins keeping company with another woman -- who, to no one's surprise, turns out to be the prodigal younger sister. The long-suffering heroine is finally put out of her misery when, during the early months of WWI, she is arrested as a spy and shot at sunrise!