The Woman Always Pays (1910) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • At a tramcar in Copenhagen the piano teacher Magda Vang meets the young man Knud Svane, who falls in love with her. She is invited to spend the summer with him and his parents at the vicarage in Gjerslev. Outside the vicarage a circus troupe passes by, and Magda is saluted by the performer Rudolph Stern. In the night Rudolph climbs a ladder to Magda's bedroom. She tries to flee his advances, but after a hot kiss she surrenders, and runs away with him. Magda is hired as a dancer with Rudolph at the Empire Varieté. When Rudolph fondles a ballet dancer Magda gets furious, and starts a fight in front of the audience. Magda and Rudolph are fired. To earn some money Rudolph forces Magda to play the piano in a band at a garden restaurant. Knud turns up and recognizes her. Incognito he asks her for a private meeting. Magda thinks she is asked to sell her body and refuses, but Rudolph forces her to go. When Rudloph after a while interrupts and finds Magda with Knud, he gets furious and starts to beat her. During the turmoil she grabs a knife and stabs Rudolph in his chest. In her despair she clings to his dead body, and has to be taken away by force.

  • This story affords the renowned European actress, Asta Nielsen, an opportunity of displaying her wonderful ability as a great artist. It depicts the life of a young woman, who tiring of her husband and her life in attractive surroundings conceives a sudden admiration for a picturesque circus man. He also is attracted by her, and when he appears and demands that she cast in her lot with the circus folks, she yields and leaves her beautiful home for the wandering life of a circus. Under the tuition of her admirer, she becomes a gifted member of the "haute ecole." The new life fascinates her. Months pass, she becomes disillusioned, for her hero, Rudolph, proves fickle; he transfers his affections to another girl of the circus. There is a quarrel between the two women and Asta and Rudolph are discharged. Down they sink in the social scale; he becomes a dissolute ne'er do well, and she the pianist at a popular beer garden. Her husband during these months has never ceased to care for Asta and in a chance meeting persuades her to return to home and duty. She consents and while in the act of leaving, Rudolph appears and, exerting the old power over her, she remains with him. Still the husband is undaunted, and makes yet another effort to regain his wife, but Rudolph refuses to give her up. This time, the man and woman quarrel, and in the struggle which follows, Asta stabs him to death. She is arrested and taken away to prison, whilst her helpless husband looks on.


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