powered by AFI
Maria, unhappy with the life of poverty she leads with her husband, Pasquale, a luckless opera singer, seeks the help of Alfredo, the wealthy director of the orphanage in which she was raised. At the same time, the owner of a 17th-century Neapolitan palace invites Pasquale to live there rent free in the hope of dispelling rumors that the place is haunted. Without telling his wife of the ghost legend, Pasquale accepts the offer, while Alfredo, anxious to be near Maria, secretly moves into a palace room connected to the couple's apartment by a hidden staircase. After Pasquale has seen Alfredo and mistaken him for the ghost, he finds a bundle of money dropped by Alfredo and concludes that the ghost wants to help him. Hoping to turn the palace into a boardinghouse, Pasquale rents a room to a dim-witted prostitute, Sayonara. Unaware that Pasquale thinks the money was left by a ghost, Alfredo tells Maria that her husband has no objection to sharing her so long as he is well paid. Outraged, Maria makes plans to leave with Alfredo. Pasquale is enraged to discover the true source of his wealth, and Maria is shocked to discover that Pasquale was unaware of her relationship with Alfredo. She disappears, and Pasquale confesses to her murder; but, after 7 months imprisonment, he is acquitted on the grounds that his crime was motivated by honor. Returning to the palace, he finds Maria waiting. Alfredo, upon seeing what he believes to be the ghost of Maria, tearfully confesses that he was responsible for getting Pasquale fired from several jobs. Taking advantage of the situation, Maria extracts from Alfredo a large donation to her memory, and she makes him promise to marry the forlorn Sayonara. Fortified by their new wealth, Pasquale and Maria move to Scotland and take jobs as domestics for an eccentric lord who lives in a castle inhabited by a headless ghost.