Madame du Barry (1917)

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It didn't matter to the Fox studios that Mrs. Leslie Carter had already portrayed the mistress of Louis XV on screen two scant years earlier. They still felt that Madame DuBarry was the perfect role for vamp Theda Bara. The picture shows Jeanette (Bara) becoming the mistress of the ambitious Jean DuBarry (Herschel Mayall) who marries her off to one of his cousins so that she has an entree to the court. She soon becomes the favorite of the King (Charles Clary) and Jean DuBarry becomes a regular around the Court too. But all this is disturbed when Madame DuBarry falls for Conte Brissac of the King's Guard (Fred Church). DuBarry's attempts to expose her affair only get him banished from the court. After the King's death, Madame DuBarry and Brissac lead a happy existence until the French Revolution comes along and they are both killed, Madame DuBarry at the guillotine. Theda Bara discovered a young costume designer shortly before this picture was made, and he did her costumes for the rest of her time at Fox. But George Hopkins career didn't stop with costume design -- for five decades he was a set designer of note and won several Academy Awards.