Most film enthusiasts are familiar with the 1923 and 1931 film versions of F. Marion Crawford's novel The White Sister, which starred Lillian Gish and Helen Hayes respectively. Obscured by the mists of time is the first filmization of the Crawford novel, which was released in 1915 with Viola Allen in the leading role. In love with a handsome army lieutenant (Richard Travers), the heroine (Allen) is called home when her wealthy father suddenly dies. Thanks to the duplicity of a greedy relative, the girl is cheated out of her rightful inheritance and tossed out into the cruel world. Even worse, her soldier sweetheart is reported killed in battle. With nowhere else to turn, the girl enters a convent, eventually taking her vows and emerging as Sister Giovanni. In this capacity, she learns of her relative's scheme to ace her out of her legacy, but by now she has devoted herself to God and forgives her enemy. But it is not so hard to renounce her love of her sweetheart when it turns out that he is still alive. Injured in an explosion, her ex-lover refuses to allow his arm to be amputated -- an operation that will save his life -- unless she gives up the church to become his wife. The outcome of the story was well known to the millions of readers who'd devoured the original novel, but they lined up to see The White Sister all the same.
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