Scandal (1917)

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Scandal was the first of Constance Talmadge's starring vehicles for producer Lewis J. Selznick's Select Pictures Corporation. Despite its title, the film was a sublimely innocent concoction, with Talmadge cast as impulsive heiress Long Island Beatrix Vanderdyke. Harmlessly flirting with a worldly artist, Beatrix is outraged when he tries to put the moves on her, and she storms indignantly out of his Greenwich Village studio. Alas, her visits to the lecherous artist have already stirred up gossip, so to allay suspicions Beatrix claims that she has come to New York to visit a family friend, Pelham Franklin (Harry C. Browne). This little white lie only makes matters worse, inasmuch as Franklin is a much-sought-after bachelor. Improvising quickly, Beatrix insists that she and Franklin have been secretly married -- and it doesn't take a genius to figure out the complications ensuing from this whopper! The publicity campaign for Scandal concentrated exclusively on Constance Talmadge, assuring filmgoers that "You will be for her from the very start" -- which, of course, they were.