One of Millions (1914)

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One of the Millions was the maiden effort of Dyreda Art Films, a "prestige" subsidiary of World Films. This three-reel war melodrama begins as the wedding of Maria (Laura Sawyer) and Gladimir (Maximillian Jurgens) is interrupted by a "call to arms." As Gladimir marches off to the front, Maria remains at home, dreaming of the glories that will surely be heaped upon her heroic husband when he returns. The girl's romantic illusions are shattered when Gladimir is reported killed in battle. The boy's body is brought home and temporarily stored in Maria's bridal chamber, a circumstance that causes the girl to go out of her mind. In retaliation for what has happened to her husband, Maria conspires with Gladimir's mother to poison the wine of an enemy general, in a scene "borrowed" from an old story by Guy de Maupassant. Though the warring countries were unidentified in One of the Millions, audiences were invited to draw their own conclusions.