Widow by Proxy (1919)

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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

Gloria Grey (Marguerite Clark) is not very successful as a music teacher -- primarily because if her students display no talent, she tells them. So trying to make ends meet, along with helping to support young war widow Dolores Pennington (Brownie Vernon), is difficult. Steve Pennington (Nigel Barrie), the brother of Dolores' dead husband, is about to enter the service himself, and he wants to settle affairs before he goes. He feels that Dolores is entitled to a piece of property, so the Pennington's attorney sends for her. But Dolores, upset that her husband's two spinster aunts (Gertrude Claire and Gertrude Norman) always disapproved of her, doesn't want to go. So Gloria suggests that she go in Dolores' place, since the aunts don't even know what she looks like. Dolores agrees to this and even goes along, pretending to be her companion. Gloria not only wins the approval of the two aunts, but Steve also falls in love with her. Things get complicated, however, when it turns out that brother Jack (John Gilbert) wasn't dead after all and he returns home. But, as in all good light comedies, things get straightened out in the end. This story began its life as a stage play by Catherine Chisholm Cushing and starred May Irwin. The year before this film was released, the play was made into a musical called Glorianna.