Ordeal of Rosetta (1918)

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Written by Edmund Goulding (who later went on to a substantial directing career), The Ordeal of Rosetta was tailor-made to the talents of Alice Brady, seen here in a dual role. The story begins in Italy, where Lola and Rosetta, the twin daughters of a professor, prepare to emigrate to America. Alas, their tiny village is rocked with an Earthquake, and the sisters are separated. Rosetta arrives in America alone, never giving up hope that she will someday relocate Lola. To supplement her income as a stenographer, Rosetta poses for a portrait artist, who capricious affixes her head to the body of a nude model. Outraged at being so obscenely misrepresented, Rosetta tells her life story to an inquiring reporter, only to end up falling in love with the man. Within a few months, Rosetta has become the author's mistress, assuming that he will eventually legitimize their relationship by marrying her. Instead, he becomes engaged to another, prompting Rosetta to commit suicide. Learning of this tragedy, the girl's twin sister Lola swears revenge against the author, and to achieve this she poses as a wealthy Countess, the better to lure the author into a death trap of her making. Lola succeeds in fulfilling her vendetta -- at which point the entire plot is revealed to be a nightmare experienced by the still-alive Rosetta!