Wages of Virtue (1924)

Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Run Time - 73 min.  |  
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Although Gloria Swanson was known as a clotheshorse, occasionally her studio would allow her to rely purely on her acting ability instead of the fashions she wore (they didn't do this very often, of course). The star dresses down for this drama, based on the novel by Percival Wren (which bears a lot of similarities to Ouida's Under Two Flags). Luigi, a strongman (Ivan Linow), saves Carmelita (Swanson) from drowning and he convinces her to join his traveling show. She causes a rift between him and his assistant Guiseppe (Armand Cortez). The two men fight, and Luigi kills Guiseppe. To escape the police, he flees with Carmelita and joins the Foreign Legion. Carmelita becomes the proprietor of a café, and the favorite of the Legionnaires. Marvin, a young American (Ben Lyon), falls in love with her. Carmelita, however, remains true to Luigi, mostly out of gratitude, until she discovers that he is planning to marry Madame La Cantiniere (Adrienne d'Ambricourt), a widow who runs a rival cafe. Luigi jealously goes about making Marvin's life miserable, and ultimately the two men battle it out. Marvin is getting the worst of it when Carmelita stabs Luigi. The faithful Legionnaires claim that Luigi was killed by Arabs and Carmelita finds happiness with Marvin.

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adventurer, love, romance