Unlike later films bearing the same title, 1916's The Ransom was not a kidnap drama. Adapted from Eve Unsell's play The Marionettes, the film is a "Madame X"-like melange involving a woman named Janet Osborne (Julia Dean), who deserts her husband and child and runs off with her lover, hoping to become a great stage actress. Things don't go so well for Janet, and within a few years she's working as a common domestic. The ultimate irony comes much later, when Janet, working under an assumed name, is hired as the personal maid for her daughter Marcia (Louise Huff), who <i>has</i> found success as a Broadway star. Janet is ultimately put in a position to save Marcia from making the same mistake <i>she</i> did when the man who destroyed Janet's life shows up as Marcia's producer.
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