Synopsis by Janiss Garza
Although John Gilbert became famous for playing the romantic lover, there was something inside him that occasionally rebelled at his glossy image. He leapt at the chance to play the exceedingly unsympathetic title character in this drama, which was based on the novel by Helen R. Martin. After her father causes a scandal, heiress Nancy Claxton (another fine up-and-comer, Norma Shearer) goes into hiding. Even her sweetheart, Herrick Appleton (Conrad Nagel), can't find her. She winds up teaching school in a Pennsylvania Mennonite community, where she meets fellow teacher Eugene Curry (Gilbert). Curry is extremely ambitious and embarrassed of his Mennonite roots. He and Nancy fall in love, but when he gets a job as a college professor, he becomes much more interested in Dorothy Renzheimer (Phyllis Haver), whose father owns the school. When Nancy becomes ill, Curry marries her only because he thinks she will die. But she lives, and Curry continues to see Dorothy on the sly. Appleton finally tracks down Nancy, only to find that she is Curry's woefully neglected wife. Nancy becomes pregnant and just before she is due to give birth, she finds a letter that her husband has written to Dorothy. The baby is born dead. Finally Nancy shows Curry a newspaper which proves that she is heir to millions. He desperately tries to make up with her, but she refuses to let him come back to her. Instead she insists that she will get a divorce and marry Appleton.
child, childhood-sweetheart, extramarital-affair, forgiveness, fortune [wealth], husband, obsession, schoolteacher, snob, wealth