Payment (1916)

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This film is a good indicator of the morality of the 1910s: Small town girl Phyllis Page (Bessie Barriscale) comes to New York to be an artist. She struggles, working in a department store by day and studying art at night. One day, the wealthy and married Robert Reyburn (Charles Miller) comes into the store and is taken with Phyllis' beauty. He offers to send her to Europe so she can complete her studies, if she will have an affair with him. Phyllis acquiesces, gets her trip, and returns to the States a success. Back in New York, she meets up with her former lover and his wife, Edith (Katherine Kirkwood). Edith, who is unaware of the affair, takes a liking to Phyllis and even tries to play matchmaker with her and her brother, Dick (William Desmond). The two do fall in love, but Robert tells Phyllis that she is not good enough for Dick, and that if she persists in the romance, he will reveal their affair. Phyllis "pays the price" for her past and turns down Dick's proposal.