At 10 years old, Owens becomes a ragged orphan when his sainted mother dies. The Conways, who are next door neighbors, take Owen in, but the constant drinking by Jim soon puts Owen on the ... See full summary »
Anna Q. Nilsson,
Young Pauline is left a lot of money when her wealthy uncle dies. However, her uncle's secretary has been named as her guardian until she marries, at which time she will officially take ... See full summary »
The Professor dispenses the wisdom of the ages and does not make a living wage. The sons of the rich and powerful are students lacking any motivation. The next door neighbor of the ... See full summary »
An isolated house in deserted area is too remote for a servant, who leaves a note, quietly exits the back door, and puts the key under the mat. Alone in the house is a mother and her infant... See full summary »
When Reverend Robert Henley and his sister Faith arrive in the town of Hell's Hinges, saloon owner Silk Miller and his cohorts sense danger to their evil ways. They hire gunman Blaze Tracy ... See full summary »
While prosecuting a physician for the death of a client after an abortion, the district attorney discovers that his wife helped her society friends and the daughter of her maid obtain and pay for abortions from the physician (and was perhaps herself also a client.) Written by
The bridge where the doctor observes a woman jumping is actually the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, California. In the early 20th century it was known among local residents as a suicide bridge. See more »
This remarkable film has sometimes been described by historians as a movie about birth control, but it isn't, although birth control is presented as an alternative to abortion, which is the film's true subject. "Where Are My Children" is probably the most forthrightly anti-abortion movie ever made by a mainstream American studio, and how Lois Weber got away with it, I'll never know; a film like this couldn't possibly be made today.
I have no objections to a filmmaker using a movie as a vehicle for his or her convictions, as long as they're honest about it, and this movie is honest. Weber follows the logic of her plot, and her convictions, right to their end, without flinching from the logical and merciless conclusion. This is a gripping and powerful tragedy, well acted, written and directed. There is one unforgettable moment in which a quiet little gesture by Helen Riaume tells volumes; she has taken her friend to a doctor who performs abortions (and has done so for her), and while lingering in the waiting room, Helen yawns, as if terminating a pregnancy is a completely casual matter. It is a perfect, subtle sign about the depth of her corruption.
"Where Are My Children" isn't perfect; the scenes of souls in Heaven's antechamber, "waiting to be born," are a little heavy-handed, even if they give Weber the chance to use the trick photography she was so fond of. But the skill with which this movie is made is remarkable for 1916; this is a much more powerful movie than Griffith's "Intolerance," the most famous film of that year. I was amazed by "Where Are My Children," and I will never forget it.
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