The first film version of Mrs. Henry Wood's venerable novel East Lynne was filmed in Britain in 1913. Blanche Forsythe stars as the tragic Lady Isobel, who brings disgrace to her family when she runs off with a murderer. Years pass: Lady Isobel returns to her family home, disguised as a nurse. She has done this to be near her son, who is dying of consumption. As he breathes his last, the boy recognizes Lady Isobel as his mother. Moments later, she dies herself, with a smile upon her lips. Other cinema adaptations of East Lynne would follow over the next twenty years, none of them varying from the original breast-beating plotline. Well, almost none: there was Mack Sennett's East Lynne with Variations, wherein the heroine winds up strapped to a buzzsaw.
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