At a masquerade ball given by the statesman Dechlette, Fanny Le Grand meets Jean Gaussin, a student preparing for a career in the foreign service. Upon discovering that she is the celebrated Sapho, Gaussin becomes infatuated with her. After nursing him through a serious illness, she becomes Gaussin's mistress. Their happiness is destroyed by jealousy when the sculptor Caoudel arrives, revealing Sapho's sordid past. To appease her lover, Sapho burns her letters from Caoudel, but Gaussin flees to his uncle's home. Nevertheless, Sapho manages to maintain her hold on him, and he returns to her. Later, at his mistress' behest, he adopts a child, unaware that the boy is the illegitimate son of Sapho and Flamaht, an engraver who committed forgery for Sapho. After a brief romance with an innocent young girl, Gaussin realizes that he is hopelessly bound to Sapho, and he decides to leave Paris with her. Flamaht appears, and Gaussin insists that they leave immediately for America; fortunately for Gaussin, Sapho chooses to free him and remain with Flamaht, the father of her child.
A four reel French version of Sapho, bearing the same title, was released in late 1913 and distributed in the U. S. by World Film Corp. Advertisements for the Roberts version called it the "real Sapho." The film played at the Majestic Theater in Los Angeles in late Fall 1913. According to an ad, the De Luxe Feature Film Co. bought the rights to distribute Sapho exclusively in New York State for $8,500, considered a high price for the time. Release charts for Mutual Film Corp. in late 1914 listed this film as a feature being distributed by their subsidiary, the Continental Feature Film Corp. Another company, Thanhouser, May also have been involved in the film in some way. A photo caption for the review of Sapho in Moving Picture World identifies it as a Thanhouser film. Thanhouser and Majestic were affiliated with Mutual at that time; however, Thanhouser's participation in this film is undetermined. In addition to the 1913 versions of Daudet's novel, several other versions have been made, beginning with a 1908 Italian production. Paramount made a version in 1917; there was a German version in 1920; and M-G-M produced the story under the title Inspiration in 1931. That film starred Greta Garbo and Robert Montgomery.