The Moonstone of Fez (1914)

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The 2-reel Moonstone of Fez was produced by Flying Eagle pictures, a branch of Vitagraph studios. Matinee idol Maurice Costello plays the sweetheart of a wealthy young woman who has the misfortune to fall heir to a "cursed" Moroccan moonstone. Vacationing in France with her ailing mother, the heroine returns to her hotel room one day to discover that her mom has disappeared. Contacting the authorities, the girl is informed that neither she nor her mother are registered in the hotel -- and that it's highly possible that the mother may be only a figment of the girl's imagination. For a while, it appears as though the moonstone's curse is manifesting itself, but hero Costello proves that the girl is not hallucinating: The mother had died of bubonic plague, whereupon the nervous Parisian officials, hoping to avert a panic, wiped out all traces of the woman's existence. Based on a purportedly true story which occurred during the 1893 Paris Exposition, the plotline of The Moonstone of Fez would be refilmed innumerable times, most memorably as the 1949 British feature So Long at the Fair.