World and His Wife (1920)

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"The world and his wife" is a reference to those gossips who lurk in the background, talking about everyone else's affairs. Originally, the story was a Spanish poem, which was made into a play that was translated into English by Charles Frederic Nirdlinger, then filmed here. Don Julian (Montagu Love) is happily married to Theodora (Alma Rubens), but when they invite Ernesto (Gaston Glass), a homeless poet, into their home, the villagers begin talking. A purely platonic friendship springs up between Theodora and Ernesto, but there is so much gossip that even Don Julian believes that they are having an affair. Finally he winds up dying in a duel caused by the rumors, and Theodora and Ernesto are cast out of the village.