Ethel Barrymore's first starring film was a 5-reel version of her stage success The Nightingale. Already quite matronly-looking, Barrymore nonetheless managed to convey the impression of extreme youth in the role of Isola Franti, aka "The Nightingale." The film was a rags-to-riches affair, with the heroine rising from humble tenement origins to the heights of stardom as a singer, only to have her life and well-being threatened by sinister underworld influences. Many critics felt as though the screen version of The Nightingale was better than the stage original, citing the "radiance" exuded by the leading lady. Nonetheless, Ethel Barrymore despised motion pictures, and would not return to them on a regular basis until it became financially necessary for her to do so.
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