Miss Else's ShameA young woman shatters against an unsolvable moral dilemma
Based on a novella by Arthur Schnitzler Vienna in the early years of the 20th century. Else is pretty, vivacious, quick to please others, loved by all - and profoundly skeptical of life and humanity. While she is on holiday at an elegant spa, news arrives of the impending bankruptcy of Else's father.
In a desperate letter, Else's mother begs her daughter to go to the elderly art dealer von Dorsday and ask him to lend them 30,000 guilders. Although Else feels she is being used, she yields to her sense of duty. Von Dorsday agrees, but on the condition that he be allowed to look at her naked for 15 minutes. If she needs more money, she must do more to earn it. As Else struggles with her conscience, she receives a second letter: the debts have gone up to 50,000 guilders.
Later that night, as the hotel guests mingle in the halls, a late-comer enters the music salon: Else, pale, wearing a black cloak, a ghostly apparition. Making her way to von Dorsday, she silently opens her cloak and lets it fall to the floor. Abandoning herself to the gaze of the shocked guests, Else stands there, naked, sacrificed to the reality she so despises. After a moment, she collapses.