Recent immigrants August ( Frank Whitson ) and Hilda ( Gretchen Lederer ) cannot understand the American emphasis on weddings, because in their country, couples never get married. Fearing that he will be arrested for living with a woman who is not his wife, August stows away on a ship and dies in a wreck at sea. Afterward, Hilda tries to commit suicide, but the wealthy Esther Grail ( Adele Farrington ) saves her, and then adopts her infant son Stephen. Years later, Esther tells him the circumstances of his birth, and so Stephen ( Emory Johnson ) goes on a crusade for the rights of illegitimate children. He is soon elected governor, but during his inaugural speech, a fanatic tries to shoot him. Hilda, however, not having seen Stephen for years but deciding to come hear him speak out for the underprivileged, sees the madman and, jumping in front of her son before the bullet hits him, dies in his place.
This 1916 silent drama was produced by The Universal Film Manufacturing Company, with popular silent actress Lois Wilson in the cast. As with many silent films the survival status of The Morals of Hilda is listed as unknown, suggesting it is now lost.
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