Virtuous Wives (1919)

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Anita Stewart had been off the screen for a year when Louis B. Mayer brought her back to star in this film, which was based on a Cosmopolitan serial by Owen Johnson. The society yarn starts off with Stewart's character, Amy, happily married to Andrew Forrester (Conway Tearle), a steel engineer. Millionaire steel magnate Maurice Delabarre (Edwin Arden) wants Andrew to come work for him, offering to double his $25,000 a year salary (an amount which, in those days, offered extremely plush living). Andrew is happy where he is, until he and Amy are invited up to the Delabarre's country estate. He is dazzled by the grand surroundings and decides to accept Delabarre's offer. The only catch is that Andrew has to spend a year roughing it in Colorado to run a steel mill. He leaves Amy behind, believing that Mrs. Delabarre (Hedda Hopper, who was billed here as Mrs. DeWolf Hopper) will take good care of her. What Andrew doesn't realize is that Mrs. Delabarre keeps a stable of male admirers hanging around, and she teaches Amy all of her wiles. She does too well, in fact, because Amy steals away Mrs. Delabarre's pet, Monte Bracken (William Boyd -- yes, none other than a very youthful Hopalong Cassidy!). The scorned woman blows the whistle on Amy and sends word to her husband of the flirtation. Andrew rushes home and, although angry, has to admit that he has never paid his wife enough attention. Then he demands that she return with him to Colorado -- in an hour. Before she can leave, however, she goes to the dock and sees the Delabarre's little boy, helpless in an outof-control motorboat. She rescues him, and the shock of this event reforms Mrs. Delabarre and brings her and her husband back together. So Amy is a bit late, but she does show up on her husband's doorstep in Colorado, and is grateful to be there.