Introduction by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Curatorial Staff member, Ali Demorotski.
Nan Baldwin (Ethel Barrymore) finds herself as a dance hall singer in a Western town after the death of her father, who was swindled by an unscrupulous partner. She’s in misery over her fate and auctions herself off to the highest bidder. The winner is a stranger (William B. Davidson) who realizes she’s not hard and bitter like the other dance hall girls and offers to stake her operatic ambitions for an I.O.U. Nan realizes her dreams of stardom as an opera singer and has her revenge on her father’s tormentor. Her goals accomplished, Nan returns to Alaska and awaits the coming of the stranger to claim her. To her surprise, the young man shows her the I.O.U. and then destroys it. Thus, Nan finds that the payment of herself is the realization of her own desires.
This silent film will feature live piano accompaniment by David Drazin. Drazin is the official silent-film pianist at the Chicago School of the Art Institute Film Center. He has provided live piano accompaniment for silent-film screenings from coast to coast.
Film provided by The Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York