Heedless Moths (1921)

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This drama was an interesting, although unsuccessful, attempt at combining a film with on-stage scenes (about the only one who seemed to do this well was George Beban, who made a couple of films this way). The story involves an incident in the life of notorious early 20th century nude model Audrey Munson. Munson herself appears in various stages of undress, but she doesn't actually play herself -- that's left to Jane Thomas. According to the picture, Munson is supporting herself and her mother through her modeling, but she is actually a good girl -- when a painter makes a play for her, she walks out. She is brought to a celebrated sculptor (Holmes E. Herbert), who is inspired by her beauty and asks her to pose nude for a statue. The sculptor's wife (Hedda Hopper) becomes jealous of all the attention her husband is giving his art and has an affair with the painter. The painter dumps his latest model/mistress for the wife, and the rejected girl swears revenge. She writes a letter to the sculptor informing him that his wife is having dinner with the painter. Munson rushes to take the wife's place at the table and pretends to be drunk when the sculptor shows up. He's so disgusted that he destroys the statue he made of her. Eventually Munson orchestrates a reconciliation between the sculptor and his wife.

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artist, modeling, sculpture