Broken Butterfly (1919)

Run Time - 55 min.  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Although the poetic approach of director Maurice Tourneur was right for this lyrical drama, it couldn't hide an illogical story and poorly thought-out characterizations. Marcene Elliot (Pauline Starke) is an innocent girl of the woods who falls in love with a man, Darrell Thorne (Lew Cody), who she believes is as much of a dreamer as herself. They are swept away by their passion, and Thorne leaves, promising to return. He does come back, only to discover that the despondent girl has committed suicide. In his grief, he travels all over the world and eventually marries Marcene's sister, Zabie (Mary Alden). They spend their honeymoon near a shrine to Marcene -- who, it turns out, isn't dead after all, but is wasting away of a broken heart. Thorne finds her and asks Zabie if she will sacrifice their marriage to make her sister happy. Zabie agrees, but the shock of Thorne's return is too much for Marcene and she dies. Thorne returns to his incredibly patient wife, who comforts him in his sadness.