Undine (1916)

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Filmed in the manner of a fairy tale, Undine nonetheless contained much to entertain the adults in the crowd. For starters, the titular heroine is played by Ida Schnall, a well-known champion diver with a predilection for wearing as little as possible. Filmed in and around Catalina Island, the story concentrates on the sea-nymph daughters of Queen Unda, ruler of the ocean. Foremost of these nymphets is Undine, the bravest and most beautiful of the lot. Alas, Undine falls in love with a mortal, and, like Andersen's Little Mermaid, loses all her magical powers as a consequence. When her sweetheart runs afoul of Kuhleborn (Elijah Kerr), ruler of the Enchanted Forest, Kuhleborn places a curse upon Undine and all her children, condemning them to live among the mortals until "pure love" can atone all sins. No one really cared much about the plot of Undine: It was enough that the sylphlike Ida Schnallshowed up from time to time in various states of near-nudity.