This is the first time Alexandre Brisson's 1906 melodrama was filmed, and Dorothy Donnelly recreates the starring role she portrayed in the American run of the play. Briefly -- as most people are no doubt familiar with the basic plot -- Madame Floriot (Donnelly) is thrown out by her husband, a young Parisian lawyer, when he catches her with her lover. Eventually her lover tires of her and over the course of 20 years, she sinks to the streets. A group of blackmailers see money in this situation, and to keep her son, now grown, from discovering her state of affairs, Madame Floriot kills the gang leader. She is put on trial as the anonymous Madame X and she is given to a young attorney as his first case. The attorney also happens to be her son, and without knowing who she is, he exonerates her. Her husband recognizes her but instead of a reunion, happy or otherwise, Madame Floriot dies of mortification. Later versions of this picture are far more creatively satisfying than this one.
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