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A woman is scarred in an accident and refuses to stand in the way of her lover's marriage to another.





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Credited cast:
Tom Hearne
Mabel Jarrett
Winnie, Mabel's Cousin
The Mother
James Kirkwood ...
The Father
A Child / At Bide-A-Wee
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bruce
Wedding Guest
Wedding Guest
David Miles ...
Wedding Guest
Wedding Guest
Anthony O'Sullivan ...
A Butler
Frank Powell ...
Wedding Guest
Herbert Prior ...
Wedding Guest
Gertrude Robinson ...
Wedding Guest


Tom Horne deeply loved pretty little Mabel Jarrett, and that his love was returned goes without saying. Tom's ebullient ambition is intensified by his great love for the girl, so he decides to go out west to fight for fame and fortune to be more worthy of her. After some time in the land of promise he succeeds in attaining the end for which he had striven and writes of his intention to return and claim her for his own. Meanwhile, Mabel's cousin Winnie has visited her and is to spend the summer months. At the receipt of Tom's letter, Mabel is in the seventh heaven of delight, when cruel fate plunges her into the depths of despair, for a horrible accident occurs. During the evening, while Mabel is in the act of lighting the lamp, it explodes, frightfully burning her face and head. It is conclusive that the poor girl will be disfigured for life. What a blow it is to her almost on the eve of Tom's return! They all try to cheer her, although fully realizing her sad plight. Winnie in ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama





Release Date:

28 June 1909 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Beauty and the Biograph Girl
5 November 2007 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Florence Lawrence (as Mabel Jarrett) lives happily with her parents James Kirkwood and Flora Finch; while waiting for her suitor Arthur V. Johnson (as Tom Hearne)'s inevitable proposal of marriage. Another member of the household is Mary Pickford (as Winnie), who is not only Ms. Lawrence's cousin, but also her best friend. Lawrence's life is torn asunder when she receives a burn, then scar, on her face, during an electrical accident. She perceives a difference in suitor Johnson's attentions, after he sees her scarred face.

Most D.W. Griffith films from the period are notable for their technical innovations; "The Way of Man" is more notable for the indelible performances Griffith elicits. Lawrence, aka "The Biograph Girl", is especially memorable in her climactic rocky scene. Johnson is likewise convincing; he is torn between his love for the scarred Lawrence, and the suddenly more lovely Ms. Pickford. Together, Lawrence and Johnson are an exciting on-screen team. Note how, in an early scene, Johnson kisses and strokes the very part of Lawrence's face which will later be scarred; it's a Griffith touch that adds a subtle magic to the overall film.

Despite its strengths, you have to wonder about "The Way of Man" regarding beauty as depicted in this film. Lawrence's burn does not seriously alter her looks, and Johnson obviously still has feelings for her - she knows this, and still decides makes her decision - perhaps, she is slightly crazed. The ending is somewhat refreshingly unexpected, though sudden (the film becomes more rushed during the later playing time).

***** The Way of Man (6/28/09) D.W. Griffith ~ Florence Lawrence, Arthur V. Johnson, Mary Pickford

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