Synopsis by Mark Deming
This was the most popular of the many silent adaptations of Alexandre Dumas' famous story of a courtesan who finds true love too late. In this version, a man who has been suffering from a bout of depression buys a painting of a beautiful women and discovers that her diary is included in the deal. As he reads her words, the ghost of the woman, who is named Camille (Norma Talmadge), appears before him to tell her sad story. Camille began her life under poor circumstances, but with determination she went from a humble shop girl to the most elegant and wealthy courtesan in Paris. However, selling her affections has not brought her real love. She meets a student named Armand (Gilbert Roland), who soon falls in love with the mysterious beauty. However, even though Camille has fallen in love with him, she resists his advances; Armand's father (Maurice Costello) has learned of his son's desire for her, and he has begged her to stay away from Armand, as an affair between them would bring scandal and shame to the young man. Before long, Camille contracts tuberculosis, and Armand encounters his would-be love as she bravely tries to hide her soon-to-be fatal condition from him. This is thought to be the ninth film based on the Dumas story (including adaptations under other names), and like several others, this film is currently lost, barring a future discovery of a print by film scholars.
diary, family-disapproval, father, flashback, forbidden-love, love, portrait, prostitute/prostitution, self-sacrifice, tragic-love