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The Magic Skin (1915)

Drama, History

Ralph Valentine and his father are musicians of proud and aristocratic ways and are so wrapped up in their art as to be oblivious of their poverty. Their faithful servant, Joseph, has been wont to withhold the threats of debtors from them,...See moreRalph Valentine and his father are musicians of proud and aristocratic ways and are so wrapped up in their art as to be oblivious of their poverty. Their faithful servant, Joseph, has been wont to withhold the threats of debtors from them, but there comes a time, shortly after the father's death, that Ralph must be told the truth. Joseph tells everything and suggests that Ralph accept money that he has saved and go to Paris, where he may show the world his art. Ralph does so and goes to live with the Gardins. His uncle Victor Valentine, wealthy and fond of gay life, invites him to live at his home provided he will leave behind his foolish dreams and fancies. Ralph refuses, preferring to remain where he is. He wins the love of Pauline Gardin and is quite content. Through his Bohemian acquaintances he meets Mme. Flora Margot. This tired, blasé young woman makes a pet of him and enraptured by her dazzling beauty he longs to satisfy her every desire. Attempting to do so, he becomes indebted to impatient creditors, who demand immediate payment or his arrest. Pauline, ignorant of his infatuation with Flora, assists him out of his present difficulties with her own savings. Realizing Flora's fast waning affection, he resolves to regain it by buying a certain antique necklace which he knows she covets. The antique dealer demands an exorbitant price which he is unable to pay. He is further disheartened when one day he finds her in the arms of his uncle, and he rushes forth intent upon suicide. About to throw himself into the river, a vision of Flora appears before him and he resolves to secure the necklace at any cost. The dealer of the antique shop is busy when he enters and Ralph wanders into a room where there are curios upon the walls and tables. Curiously examining the various articles, his hand suddenly touches a secret panel which springs back, revealing a marvelous painting of the Christ. A spiritual influence comes over him, so profound is its impression upon his mind. While awaiting the attendance of the dealer, he becomes greatly interested in a peculiar skin which has writing upon it in Sanskrit. Sitting down he becomes drowsy and falls asleep. The writing changes into English, which reads that the possessor of the skin has only to wish and his wish will be granted, but that with each desire the skin shall grow smaller and the days of the possessor grow less until death is the penalty at the last wish. The dealer approaches and Ralph is amazed to behold him now in the form of a devil. The devil asks if he desires the skin and Ralph, fearfully undecided, suddenly thinks of Flora and agrees to take it. What are his desires and his terrible anguish as the talisman grows smaller have been woven into a story of weird and mystic situations. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis See less
Read more: Plot summary
Writer
Honoré de Balzac (story "La Peau de chagrin")
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Status
Edit Released
Updated Oct 13, 1915

Release date
Oct 13, 1915 (United States)

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Cast

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11 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Everett Butterfield
Ralph Valentine Ralph Valentine   See fewer
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Mabel Trunnelle
Pauline Gardin Pauline Gardin   See fewer
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Bigelow Cooper
Ralph's Father Ralph's Father   See fewer
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Frank A. Lyons
The Family Solicitor (as Frank A. Lyon) The Family Solicitor (as Frank A. Lyon)   See fewer
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William West
Joseph Joseph   See fewer
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George A. Wright
Victor Valentine Victor Valentine   See fewer
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Nellie Grant
Pauline's Mother Pauline's Mother   See fewer
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Harry Linson
The Father Confessor The Father Confessor   See fewer
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Sally Crute
Flora Margot Flora Margot   See fewer
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Herbert Prior
The Antique Dealer The Antique Dealer   See fewer
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