Wormwood (1915)

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This 5-reel picturization of Marie Corelli's best-selling novel Wormwood scored a significant success for the fledgling Fox Film Corporation. John Sainpolis, whose screen career extended into the late 1930s, was chillingly convincing as Gaston Beauvais, whose fondness for the intoxicating beverage absinthe (the principal ingredient of which is wormwood) brings about his downfall. In the last minutes of his life, the drink-sodden Beauvais recalls the events leading up to his present miserable condition. Much of the film was lensed on location in New Orleans, while the interiors were shot in the New York Pathe Studios. Critics predicted big things for 18-year-old leading lady Ethel Kauffman, but she drifted away from films soon afterward.