On the Steps of the Throne (1913)

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The four-reel On the Steps of the Throne was assembled by the Italian Pasquali film company. The story was a Prisoner of Zenda affair, with a young adventurer called upon to pose as his look-alike, an endangered European monarch. Not knowing of the switch, the villains dispatch a beautiful exotic dancer to seduce and destroy the bogus prince. But the dancer turns out to be loyal to the throne, and it is she who saves both the prince and his double from Certain Death. Evidently, the "dual identity" gimmick was accomplished via quick cutting rather than double exposure or split-screen work; it was painfully obvious that a double was used in the scenes where both the prince and the hero were seen together.