The Female of the Species (1912) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Four survivors from an abandoned mining town - a married couple, the wife's sister, and a younger woman - are making a desperate trip to safety across the desert. The wife suspects the younger woman of having an affair with her husband, and soon afterwards the husband dies suddenly. The three women must then continue their journey amidst the growing tensions caused by the wife's desire for revenge.

  • Dreary indeed is the aspect of the little mining camp, deserted by all but four survivors of the terrors of this desert land. The graves in the background vividly tell a story of privation and suffering. The little party comprises a miner, his wife and her sister, and a young woman, who is the sole survivor of another family nearby. Death is inevitable should they stay longer, and so the four start their race with death to the desert's rim. At their first resting place, the wife and her sister go in search of water to replenish their supply. Left alone with the girl, the husband, in a vagary of weakness, makes advances to her. This is seen by the wife from a distance, and in the struggle which ensues, the man, who is a physical wreck, pays the penalty with his life. As the wife and sister stand over the lonely grave, they, wrongly suspecting the girl, are seized with a desire for vengeance, the perpetration of which is only averted by a singular intervention of fate.


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