Her Great Price (1916)

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It's New Year's Eve, but writer Alice Lambert (Mabel Taliaferro), who has had bad luck selling her stories, is not celebrating. She pours her heart out to her three friends, Larry (Richard Barbee), Henry (George Fauncefort), and Tony (William Cahill). Larry, after looking over her rejected manuscripts, suggests that she write something with a new twist. But their little party breaks up over an argument, and Alice is alone when Larry's friend, Tom Leighton (Henry Mortimer) arrives. Alice is in such a deep depression that she is about to commit suicide, but Leighton convinces her to make a deal with him. If she will hold off for a year, he will take out a policy on her life for $50,000. Out of that he will loan her $30,000 (quite a sum in those days), and when she kills herself in a year, he will collect on the policy, thus getting the original $30,000 back, plus $20,000 in interest. She agrees and has a great year, enjoying all sorts of luxuries and falling in love with Leighton. Unfortunately, Leighton is already engaged to someone else (Jeanette Horton), so by the end of the year, Alice is miserable again and ready to kill herself. It turns out that Leighton's fiancée is willing to break off the engagement, but when he rushes to Alice, he discovers that he is too late. Then the picture cuts back to the original New Year's Eve -- the whole film was just the "new twist" that Alice had put in one of her stories.