On her wedding night, Remember “Mem” Steddon, daughter of a small-town conservative preacher, has a sudden change of heart. Abandoning her groom, she impulsively sneaks off their Los Angeles-bound honeymooner train in the middle of the desert. When she recuperates from dehydration, she finds herself on a film set and is cast as an extra. As Mem’s masterful art of deception drives her to fame, the left-behind husband returns, raging with jealousy and murderous revenge.
First published 1922 and adapted to screen the following year by Rupert Hughes himself, this "insider" story of Hollywood filmmaking traces every Hollywood trope from slapstick comedy to theatrical melodrama with love and deceit at every page turn. Hazing the lines between truth and fiction, Souls for Sale is a snapshot of Hollywood's Golden Age, hailed by three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sandburg as "the heart of moviedom by anyone who believes in it."