Italian count Robert Mantell marries the beautiful Genevieve Hamper, hoping that she will abandon her wandering ways and remain faithful to him. Instead, Hamper falls in love with charismatic artist Stuart Holmes. Their illicit affair coincides with a raging cholera epidemic that has wiped out half the populace. When Mantell collapses of sunstroke, his wife and her lover hurriedly bury him alive, claiming that he is yet another cholera victim. Assuming that they've rid themselves of Mantell, the treacherous couple are understandably nonplused when Mantell apparently arises from the dead to exact vengeance. Amazingly, despite the many unpleasant aspects of the storyline, The Unfaithful Wife was packaged and accepted as escapist entertainment.
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