John and Mary divorce their spouses to marry each other. Mary dies after giving birth and the baby is taken in by John's first wife, Martha. She refuses all contact with John until many ... See full summary »





Credited cast:
John, the Husband
Martha, the Wife
Mary, the Woman
Mary's Father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bruce ...
An Old Woman
In Field
A Friend
J. Jiquel Lanoe ...
A Friend
In Field


John and Mary divorce their spouses to marry each other. Mary dies after giving birth and the baby is taken in by John's first wife, Martha. She refuses all contact with John until many years later when he becomes ill and she finally forgives him for deserting her. Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

menage a trois | melodrama | See All (2) »


Short | Drama





Release Date:

11 January 1912 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La eterna madre  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

It utilizes a simple story and tells it clearly
31 July 2016 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

A very beautiful and subtle picture dealing with deep things in the human heart. Yet it utilizes a simple story and tells it clearly. What the spectator will get out of it, beyond and above this story will depend upon himself or herself, his experience and knowledge of human life. Perhaps the wisest will go away feeling that he never could find words to tell all that it showed to him. This reviewer has never seen a picture that affected him so much like music. "The Eternal Mother" is the heroine of the story; there are two players who both take her part. The producer has wisely kept the action in lowly places near the ground so that nothing artificial may interfere with his idea. In the early scenes we are introduced to a young farmer and his wife, a mere flaxen-haired girl as carefree as a May morning. But soon, another character appears, a restless, passionate, dark-haired girl with a red rose in her hair. There is later a divorce and a re-marriage. The May morning has given place to the drought of summer. The young woman who had divorced her husband hears that his new wife has become a mother, but is dying. She goes to him and her with forgiveness in her eyes, and when the wife dies, it is she who takes the baby and brings it up. This scene is very praiseworthily made. Perhaps it showed more than the producer really intended and so is to some extent a work of genius. If so, the producer, with the two talented young ladies who played it, was like a composite unity, viz., the mirror in which the face of life was reflected. It is, roughly speaking, a story in three acts. In the last act, it is shown that the foolish man sees, after his wife's death, how blind he had been. He is like a man expelled from his Garden of Eden, He can see the garden from afar, but he is conscious of his unworthiness. His child grows up into womanhood. The May morning has now become snowy winter as she stands white- haired and wrinkled, and a picture of wisdom that conquers tragedy. The man, as he works, can look up and see her passing in the distance, but he must return to his work again. This work among his cabbages and potatoes gives him a sense of service to the world. He doesn't buy comfort or amusement with the money that it brings him. It is purification alone that he seeks. In the end the Eternal Mother recognizes in him, white-haired and bent with age, a time- battered ruin, a companion spirit. He is permitted to come back to Eden. - The Moving Picture World, January 27, 1912

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