Extravagance was based on a play by Aaron Hoffman, a self-styled expert in the art of combining high comedy with heavy drama. Raised in the lap of luxury, Norma Russell (Olga Petrova) is ill-prepared for her father's financial reverses. In exchange for a $25,000 loan, Norma's dad (H. Cooper Cliffe) promises her hand in marriage to bank president Howard Dundore (Arthur Hoops). But when the loan comes due, Mr. Russell cannot bring himself to "sell" his daughter and resorts to forgery to make good his debts. To save her father's reputation, Norma agrees to go through with the marriage to Dundore, leaving her own sweetheart Franklin Hall (Mahlon Hamilton) out in the cold. But when Hall returns from South America after completing a lucrative business deal, Norma dumps Dundore and goes with her first choice. Thirsting for revenge, Dundore hatches a scheme whereby Hall will be ruined financially. When Hall is carted off to jail on a phony embezzlement charge, Norma vows to clear his name by writing a movie screenplay based on the events leading up to her husband's arrest. When the film is shown to the public, the guilty are punished and the innocent are exonerated. It was hard to determine whether screenwriter Hoffman was aiming for comedy or drama in Extravagance, since it wasn't funny enough to be laughed at, nor dramatic enough to be taken seriously.
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