Bella Donna (1915)

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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

The first film version of Robert Hichens and J. B. Fagan's stage melodrama Bella Donna served as an adequate vehicle for Pauline Frederick. Set in Egypt, this is the story of a gentlemanly but very naïve Englishman, Nigel Armine (Thomas Holding) and his beautiful but treacherous wife Bella Donna (Frederick). Despite the most damning evidence, Nigel cannot bring himself to believe that his wife is anything other than a pillar of virtue. But the truth comes out when Bella Donna becomes involved in the murder of one of her former paramours. Though Bella Donna was filmed several times, none of the movie versions featured Alla Nazimova, who created a huge sensation with her stage interpretation of the leading character.