The Market of Vain Desire (1916)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |  
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The usual Thomas H. Ince talent lineup -- including director Reginald Gardiner and writer C. Gardner Sullivan -- collaborated on the sublimely constructed Market of Vain Desire. H.B.Warner stars as John Armstrong, a small-town clergyman who discovers that one of his flock, Helen Badgely (Clara Williams), is being pressured by her social-climbing mother (Gertrude Claire) to marry the pompous Count Bernard d'Montaigne (Charles Miller). To prevent this, Armstrong engages the services of prostitute Belle (Leona Hutton) -- not for the reasons one might suspect, but to deliver the sermon the following Sunday! By using Belle as an example of one who has sold her soul for gold, Rev. Armstrong is able to make Helen's mother realize the error of her ways. Things work out well for Armstrong too, inasmuch as he has fallen in love with Helen himself.

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Keywords

bishop, engagement, loot, love, morale, mother, nobility, prestige, prostitute/prostitution, pulpit, selling, service