Hedda Gabler (1917)

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Forty-three-year-old stage star Nance O'Neil was cast as the twentysomething title character in this version of Henrik Ibsen's renowned play. We meet Hedda Gabler just as she and George Tesman (Aubrey Beattie) have returned from their honeymoon. Hedda is a strange young woman who likes to play with guns, and who still jealously keeps an eye on her former lover, Eilert Lovberg (Einar Linden). Lovberg has given up his bad habits under the good influence of Thea Elvestead (Ruth Byron) and written a brilliant novel. But Hedda won't let things be and uses her influence over Lovberg to utterly destroy him. He returns to drink and loses his manuscript. In despair, Lovberg leaves Thea and shoots himself with one of Hedda's pistols. Hedda, who has the manuscript, burns it and then shoots herself. It's interesting to note that a year later, theater and screen star Alla Nazimova revived Hedda Gabler on stage, and that while she brought other Ibsen works to the screen, she never starred as Hedda on film.