In a largely successful effort to demonstrate her versatility, Mary Pickford plays a dual role in Stella Maris. As Stella Maris, Pickford is a crippled young heiress who has been raised in luxurious isolation. As Unity Blake, Pickford is a homely maidservant, subject to ill treatment from her alcoholic employer, Louise Risca (Camille Ankewich) Both Stella and Unity fall in love with Risca's long-suffering husband John (Conway Tearle). Realizing that she can never have John, Unity murders Louise so that John and Stella can be together. The shock of "America's Sweetheart" committing murder and then taking her own life was softened by showing the "pretty" Pickford--i.e., Stella Maris--enjoying a happy ending, even unto regaining the use of her legs. Stella Maris was adapted by Frances Marion from a novel by Francis J. Locke; the story was remade in 1925, with Mary Philbin in the dual lead.