In 1806 in the village of Pontresina, Switzerland, a mountain man named Marcus (John Barrymore) is in love with Ciglia (Camilla Horn), a young village woman who has been rejecting the advances of Lorenz (Victor Varconi). The mischievous Pia (Mona Rico) throws herself at Marcus, but she is also rejected. Marcus and Ciglia profess their love, while the jealous and vindictive Pia looks on.
Following the end of the French Army occupation, the people of Pontresina celebrate their liberation with a boisterous masked dance. At the party Ciglia becomes frightened of a drunken Marcus and she asks to be taken home. Marcus goes home confused. When Pia boldly attempts to seduce Marcus, he accepts her advances. The next day Ciglia receives permission from her uncle Tass (Hobart Bosworth) to marry Marcus. Pia and her mother approach Tass, and then confront Marcus. With Ciglia overhearing, they demand that Marcus marry Pia, who plays the cowering innocent. Ciglia leaves Marcus, and Marcus and Pia get married. Lorenz soon takes advantage of Ciglia and eventually they also get married.
During a heavy snowstorm, Pia is worried about Marcus and tries to form a rescue party to find him. With no one willing to join, she turns to Lorenz and Ciglia. Ciglia overreacts to the news, making Lorenz suspicious about her affections. Ciglia soon discovers Marcus safely arriving in the village. Consumed in jealously and sorrow, Lorenz confronts Marcus, urging him to leave the village, even offering him money, but Marcus refuses.
Later in the mountains, Lorenz ambushes Marcus and the two exchange gunfire. Marcus returns to the village, followed by the accusing and dying Lorenz. The villagers turn against Marcus despite Ciglia’s cries of his innocence. Pia falsely accuses Ciglia of putting Marcus up to the murder of Lorenz. Soon the villagers turn into a mob and pursue Marcus and Ciglia into the mountains. With no other recourse, Marcus and Ciglia walk hand in hand into the path of an avalanche.
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Writers: Jakob Christoph Heer (novel)
Stars: John Barrymore, Camilla Horn, Victor Varconi
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