Cast & Crew
Before composer Anselm Kardos leaves his alcoholic wife, he gives his daughter Lily an unfinished love ode entitled "The Song of Songs" and warns her to keep her artistic temperament in check. Lily becomes a salesgirl for an import dealer and travels to Palm Beach and Atlantic City, where her beauty attracts the attention of many wealthy men. Finally, Lily agrees to marry Senator Calkins, a powerful but unscrupulous man who earlier had betrayed the love of Ann Merkle, his housekeeper. Impersonating Lily on the phone, the jealous Ann invites Calkins' neighbor, Dick Laird, to visit Lily in her room, and when the senator finds him there, he divorces her. Bewildered, Lily remains Laird's mistress until she falls in love with musician Stephen Bennett. Aware of her past, Stephen proposes, much to the dismay of his uncle Phineas, who resolves to break up the romance. After Phineas plies Lily with champagne so that the idealistic young man may see her in an intoxicated state, Stephen boards a train for the West. Soon, however, he returns to save Lily from suicide by marrying her.
According to some reviews, Lily refuses Stephen's proposal and returns to Laird. The play was based on Hermann Sudermann's novel, Das Hohe Lied (The Song of Songs), published in 1909. A song, entitled "Chanson du coeur brise," was written by Maurice Vaucaire (English words for "The Song of Songs" by Clarence Lucas), with music by Moya (a pseud. for Harold Vicars), and published in London in 1914. The source material was re-made twice: by Famous Players-Lasky in 1924 as Lily of the Dust, with Pola Negri starring and Dimitri Buchowetski directing (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.3096); and by Paramount in 1933 as Song of Songs, with Marlene Dietrich starring and Rouben Mamoulian directing.