Buchanan's Wife (1918)

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Although he was already an established director elsewhere, this was Charles J. Brabin's first feature for Fox. Even though she loves Harry Faring (Victor Sutherland), Beatrix (Virginia Pearson) is forced to marry Herbert Buchanan (Marc McDermott) by her father. Buchanan realizes that Beatrix loves Faring, and after causing a scene at a reception, the despondent husband decides to commit suicide. When he is interrupted by Kansas (Nid Finley), a tramp, he decides to hit the open road instead. Kansas, however, knocks him on the head and he falls off a cliff. When he never returns, Beatrix identifies an unknown body as his and marries Faring. She hopes desperately that Buchanan will never be heard from again, but of course he shows up, led home by Kansas. The tramp threatens to blackmail Beatrix, but she tells Faring everything. He tracks down Kansas and hears how Buchanan did not die from the blow, but became demented. Buchanan, however, is lucid enough to tell Kansas to leave Beatrix alone. Then he dies, leaving nothing in the way of Beatrix's happiness with Faring. Although she's not particularly sexy here, Virginia Pearson often did vamp roles, mostly as the studio's threat to their number one seductress, Theda Bara. By 1918, though, Bara was near the end of her career, and she would eventually marry director Brabin.