Merely Mary Ann (1916)

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This first of four film adaptations of Israel Zangwill's stage comedy Merely Mary Ann starred Vivian Martin as the title character. The story involves the romance between a pretty boarding-house slavey (Mary Ann, of course) and a handsome young composer. A slave to his "art," the composer refuses to write popular tunes, even though this decision may reduce him to the dregs of poverty. When Mary Ann inherits a fortune, she offers to wed the composer so that he can follow his muse without worrying about finances. But he turns her down, worried that people will think he married her for her money. Eventually, of course, Love Triumphs. A Hungarian version of Merely Mary Ann was also filmed in 1916, directed by Michael Curtiz.