In a Dutch garden house, virginal Marguerite Clark (as Prunella) grows beautiful under the watchful eyes of her three maiden aunts, appropriately named "Prim" (Isabel Berwin), "Prude" (Marcia Harris), and "Privacy" (Nora Cecil). A group of pantomime players happens to pass by Ms. Clark's garden, and she locks loving looks with dashing costumed Jules Raucourt (as Pierrot). Clark joins Mr. Raucourt in wedded bliss, and they become Parisian stage stars. But, Raucourt catches they eyes of another woman, and Clark leaves him. Hopefully, Raucourt will realize the error of his ways, and be reunited with Clark
Your seeing the hoped-for reunion between Clark and Raucourt may have to wait for eternity, because "Prunella" is either hopelessly lost forever, or in parts unknown. Stills show it to be a fantastical, picturesque, and highly stylized fairy tale.
Reportedly, "Prunella" performed poorly at the box office, but Clark's consistent popularity could call these accounts into question. She was a "Top Ten" star in the "Motion Picture" and "Quigley" annual polls throughout the period in question, 1916-1920 (inclusive). Moreover, decades later, people still raved about Clark's "Prunella" (frequently mentioned alongside the unfortunately lost "Wildflower" as Clark's best). Factor in that Clark's stage version of "Prunella" was an earlier success; and there must have been many who went to see the box office star in one of her most famous roles, again or for the first time.
The film was #3 in "Motion Picture" magazine's annual list, ahead of director Maurice Tourneur's highly regarded "The Blue Bird" (1918). And, this was representative of the high acclaim the "Prunella" production, star Clark, and the director received.
******* Prunella (5/26/18) Maurice Tourneur ~ Marguerite Clark, Jules Raucourt, Henry Leone, Nora Cecil
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