Thief (1920)

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The only thing remotely interesting about this flimsy drama is the number of gorgeous outfits worn by its star, former serial queen Pearl White. White plays Mary Vantyne, whose husband, Andrew (Charles Waldron), doesn't make a lot of money. Her friend Isabelle (Dorothy Cummings) has married a wealthy man, Richard Lenwright (George Howard) and when the Vantynes attend a party at their home, Mary feels dowdy next to the other women. So she does what many a woman has before and since -- she goes out and buys a load of beautiful clothes. Meanwhile two men have fallen for her -- Richard Blake (Wallace McCutcheon), wealthy neighbor of the Lenwrights, and Richard Lenwright's own son, Fred. Although Mary isn't interested, she's dismayed when she discovers she owes more on her new gowns than she can pay. Things get complicated when Blake tries to get her over to his place by blackmailing her, and some of Richard Lenwright's cash turns up missing. He thinks Fred is to blame. Blake has paid for some of Mary's clothes and when Andrew finds the bill he wants to kill him. Blake says he paid the bill to help Fred, so Andrew turns his ire towards the young man. But finally Mary admits she stole Lenwright's money to pay for her clothes. Since Mary is only a thief and not an adulteress, Andrew forgives her. This story, surprisingly, had a fairly long life -- first it was a successful play by Henri Bernstein, and then filmed in 1915 with Dorothy Donnelly before this version was made.