The Broken Butterfly

The Broken Butterfly is a 1919 American silent drama film directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring Lew Cody, Mary Alden and Pauline Starke.[1][2]

The Broken Butterfly
Directed byMaurice Tourneur
Produced byMaurice Tourneur
Written byPenelope Knapp (novel)
H. Tipton Steck
Maurice Tourneur
Charles E. Whittaker
StarringLew Cody
Mary Alden
Pauline Starke
Maurice Tourneur Productions
Distributed byRobertson-Cole Distributing Corporation
Release date
November 1, 1919
Running time
5 reels
CountryUnited States
English intertitles


While strolling through the forests of Canada, Marcene Elliot (Starke), a naive young woman meets Darrell Thorne (Cody), a composer looking for inspiration for a symphony. They are fascinated by each other and she abandons herself into her lover’s arms. Darrell then writes a symphony and calls it “Marcene” after her. He then asks her to accompany her to New York City for the first time, but she refuses, fearing the anger of her Aunt Zabie (Alden).

Marcene gives birth to a little girl and then her aunt rejects her. Her own fears push her to attempt suicide. Upon returning from New York, Darrell learns from Aunt Zabie that Marcene is dead. He then travels to forget his pain and meets Marcene's sister on the Riviera where she is conducting a symphony. The couple then get married. Upon returning to Canada, they discover that Marcene is still alive, but is dying, and that she has a daughter. In agreement with his wife, they hide their marriage from Marcene. She dies happy and Darrell adopts the little girl.


Preservation status

A print is listed in the catalog of Archives Du Film Du CNC, Bois d'Arcy.[3]



  • Waldman, Harry. Maurice Tourneur: The Life and Films. McFarland, 2001.
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