Chalice of Sorrows (1916)

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Synopsis by Nicole Gagne

Victorien Sardou's play La Tosca (and the Puccini opera thereupon) provided the inspiration for this tragic five-reel melodrama, written and directed by the legendary Rex Ingram. The singer Lorelei (Cloe Madison) is lusted after by Francisco de Scarpina (Wedgewood Nowell), the sadistic governor of a Mexican province. Her fiancé, the sculptor Marion Leslie (Charles Cummings), protects an enemy of Scarpina's, but is found out and locked away in prison. Lorelei gives herself over to Scarpina, and after he signs passports enabling her and her beloved to leave the country, she stabs him to death. She watches Leslie taken out before a firing squad, but instead of the blanks she'd been promised, real bullets are fired and he is killed. Even in death, Scarpina is victorious.