Universal's Cycle of Adversity was a one-reel adaptation of the same-named Daniel Frohman vaudeville sketch. The "cycle" refers to the creation of a play from conception to production. This already grueling process is adversely affected by the personal travails of the playwright, who must hold down two jobs to keep the wolf from the door. The apex of his rotten luck occurs when the playwright loses his manuscript, then is confined to the hospital with a brain concussion. Fortunately, the beneficent Daniel Frohman, cast as "himself," discovers the play, purchases the property, and saves the hero and his waitress sweetheart from a lifetime of misery.
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