Why Blame Me?

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"Why Blame Me?" was the question posed by "fallen woman" Katinka Veche (Anna Luther) in this lugubrious melodrama. In flashback, it is revealed that Katinka is a Rumanian peasant, separated from her childhood sweetheart Jan Drakashu (William Garwood) when he emigrates to America. The girl's father then sells her in marriage to lecherous Bucharest merchant Victor Dravich (Frank Brownlee), who in turn forces her into a life of prostitution. Meanwhile, Jan "makes good" in the U.S. and is sent to a western mining town to close a big business deal. Here he is reunited with Katinka, who is now what is euphemistically termed a dance-hall hostess. But too many years have passed, and Jan fails to recognize Katinka -- but she knows all too well who he is. When her "protector" Dravich is murdered, Katinka follows Jan back to New York, hoping to rekindle the old spark, all the while keeping her true identity a secret. Eventually she wins Jan back but has to go through the standard "redemption and regeneration" scene to accomplish this. Test marketed in January 1918 under the title Why Blame Me, this film was not given a general release until August, by which time it had been given the tantalizing but meaningless title Her Moment.