Doctor Polly (1914) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Having developed a bad case of nerves, Lester Ridgeway is sent to Thorn's old homestead in the south and to rest up and get well. It happens that there is a family "ghost" in this mansion, at least so the legend avers. Ridgeway becomes infatuated with a portrait in the Thornleigh library of a dead ancestress, a very beautiful woman. Polly Allen, the great granddaughter of the woman in the portrait, becomes aware of Ridgeway's infatuation, and remembering that there is an old dress in the attic which was worn by the lady in the picture when she posed for the portrait, she dresses herself in the gown, and decides to compare herself with the portrait. Ridgeway sees her and thinks it is the woman of the portrait. Upon his insistence upon the resemblance, old Lindley tells him the story of the woman in the portrait. How she was deserted and killed herself and how it is said she appears every now and then, wandering disconsolately about the premises. Polly overhears the story and decides that Ridgeway needs excitement. She decides to give him all he is looking for. It is her belief that what Ridgeway needs to get well is to have his mind taken off himself. He must be made to become interested in something besides his own concern. She dresses in her great grandmother's dress, and leads Ridgeway a merry chase through the gardens of the estate and the great library. Thorn receives a letter from Ridgeway, telling him that he is deeply in love with the "ghost" lady, and intends to get her on the following Wednesday night, the anniversary of her death, when it is rumored that she will enact the tragedy of her life. Thorn thinks Ridgeway has gone mad. He persuades a specialist to come with him to Thornleigh and examine the stricken man. They find Ridgeway and a very substantial "ghost" lady in the garden, where all ends satisfactorily. Polly's prescription proves a real "cure-all."


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