On May 3, 1925, Playing With Souls was released by First Nationals as their last Thomas Ince production, as noted in my Ince biography. C. Gardner Sullivan adapted the novel of the same title by Clara (Longworth) Comtesse de Chambrun, which was also reissued as a "photoplay" edition by Grosset & Dunlap. The scenario cost $9,683, with $3500 for the story.
The plot had resemblances to BLACK IS WHITE, a 1919 Ince production for Paramount in which a husband meets his divorced wife under a new identity, marries her, then becomes jealous of his son's relationship to his new wife--not realizing she is his son's mother. PLAYING WITH SOULS was no less improbable. A couple, Amy and Matthew, played by Clive Brook and Belle Bennett, separate, placing their son in a British school and keeping him ignorant of their identities.
The child, becoming an adult, as played by William Collier, Jr., becomes obsessed with learning about his paternity. Going to Paris in search of information, he meets a woman of dubious morals, Bricotte (Jacqueline Logan). Collier's father learns of his dissipation and comes to him as a friend, having Bricotte in his own apartment so his son will believe she is cheating on him. Also in Paris is Amy, who vamps her son.
The father discovers them and reveals their true identities. The son attempts suicide, but is saved by his father and returns to England and his fiancée, played by Mary Astor. Amy and the father are also reunited. Thomas Ince's younger brother Ralph Ince directed in seven reels and the production cost $167,630.
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