One of the great directors of the silent era, Victor Sjostrom, teamed with fellow Swede Greta Garbo for this drama. The great Garbo plays Marianne, a young woman from Brittany who was neglected by her impoverished parents. Marianne longs to be an actress and moves to Paris, where theatrical producer Henry Legrand (Lowell Sherman) takes her under his wing; Henry was romantically involved with Marianne's mother years ago and feels a semi-paternal affection for the young woman. Marianne falls in love with Lucien (Lars Hanson), a man who has deserted from the Army and is on the run from the law. To prove his devotion to her, Lucien steals a dress for Marianne, but this only attracts the police and Lucien winds up in jail. With Lucien behind bars, Henry's attentions become less friendly and more romantic, and Marianne must decide if she should wait for the man she loves or devote herself to the man who wants her. Sadly, no complete prints of The Divine Woman are known to exist; one reel of the eight-reel feature was discovered in a Russian film archive, but the remainder of the picture remains lost.
by Mark Deming synopsis