Our Better Selves (1919)

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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

The timing of this patriotic Pathe tragedy was not very good -- World War I had been over for many months by mid-1919 (when the picture was released) and nobody was really interested in hearing any more about it, at least for a while. Loyette Merval (Fannie Ward) is a frivolous young woman who's wrapped up in the social whirl of pre-World War I Paris. When she meets Willard Standish, a charming American idler (the up-and-coming Lew Cody), it seems like she has met her match. They marry and continue their carefree ways, unaware of how soon their fun will end. The war begins, and over Loyette's protests, Standish enlists and goes to the front. He is wounded in the fighting and hides himself near a deserted convent. Loyette, whose patriotism has finally awakened, drives to the convent in search of him. She helps keep him away from the Germans, and they team up to halt a coup. They die while performing this heroic act and, in a true 1910s-era touch, they are shown crossing the River Styx together.