Stronger Than Death (1920)

Release Date - Jan 11, 1920 (USA - Unknown)  |  
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Because of a heart condition, Sigrid Freson (Alla Nazimova) has to give up her career as a dancer. She travels to a British outpost in India, where she rejects the advances of a Eurasian merchant in favor of Major Tristram Boucicault (Charles Bryant), an impoverished doctor who is fighting a cholera epidemic. His father (Charles K. French) is the cruel post commander, and when the old man is found dead, Tristram is accused of his murder. The merchant tells Sigrid that he knows the identity of the killer, but he will reveal it only if she marries him. In order to save her lover, Sigrid consents, but on her wedding night, she holds him at bay with a gun. A native uprising breaks out, and Sigrid halts the riot by performing a temple dance; when they see her performance, the Hindus believe she is the wife of Vishnu. She collapses under the effort, but is brought back from the brink by Tristram. This film was based on the I.A.R. Wylie novel, The Hermit Doctor of Gaya, and although Charles Bryant (Nazimova's real-life paramour) is credited with the adaptation, it is believed that she wrote the entire screenplay by herself.