One Week of Life (1919)

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Pauline Frederick has a dual role in this silent feature. On one hand, she is Mrs. Kingsley Sherwood, wife of a well-off drunkard; on the other, she is Marion Roche, an art student. Mrs. Sherwood is having an affair with LeRoy Scott (Sydney Ainsworth) and desperately wishes to spend "one week of life" with him. Scott runs across Marion and is amazed by the physical resemblance she has to his lover, so he concocts a story to convince the girl to take Mrs. Sherwood's place. In addition, Mrs. Sherwood tells Marion that her alcoholic husband probably won't even be around. Marion agrees to the scheme, and the illicit couple go off on their week. Big complications arise, however -- Scott and Mrs. Sherwood are drowned in an accident on Lake Placid, and Mr. Sherwood discovers that Marion is not his wife. Amazingly, this causes him to sober up. He turns out to be quite fond of Marion and they make a deal -- he will go away for six months and if he stays dry during that time, they will be married. The picture ends on this ambiguous note with a handshake between the two, not the embrace more common to filmdom.

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Keywords

accident, alcoholism, con/scam, drowning, extramarital-affair, impersonation, marriage, romance, seduction, student, wife