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Enlighten Thy Daughter (1917)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama  -  28 January 1917 (USA)
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A story of the difference in the fate of two young girls caused by the difference in their home lives and training. This shows vividly the criminal folly of allowing a girl to reach ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Frank Sheridan ...
Daniel Stevens
Katharine Kaelred ...
Mrs. Daniel Stevens
Zena Keefe ...
Lillian Stevens
Arthur Donaldson ...
Richard Stevens
Marie Shotwell ...
Rubye De Remer ...
Ruth Stevens (as Ruby De Remer)
James Morrison ...
Harold Winthrop
Violet Horner ...
Mrs. Laurence
Runa Hodges ...
Nina
Walter Gould ...
Walter
Mathilde Brundage ...
Mrs. Winthrop
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Storyline

A story of the difference in the fate of two young girls caused by the difference in their home lives and training. This shows vividly the criminal folly of allowing a girl to reach womanhood without knowledge of certain facts essential to her welfare and happiness. A worse-than-foolish mother keeps her daughter in ignorance. In her efforts to avoid the consequences which follow, places the girl in the hands of an unscrupulous doctor with whom she is in partnership. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Taglines:

GRIPPING, STIRRING STORY PULSING WITH HUMAN TOUCHES PUNCTUATED WITH SUCH FORCEFUL SITUATIONS AS THE STAGE OR SCREEN NEVER BEFORE EXPLOITED (original poster-all caps) See more »

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Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Passed
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Release Date:

28 January 1917 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Moves forward with a dramatic sweep
22 October 2014 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

In "Enlighten Thy Daughter" Ivan Abramson again demonstrates his keen sense of dramatic values; he also proves that he has an unfortunate weakness for overloading his plot with extraneous matter. Stripped of the side issues which clog the action and befog the mind of the spectator, the story of "Enlighten Thy Daughter" resolves itself into a powerful object lesson on the subject indicated by the title. The story is slow in getting underway, because of the introduction of the motive involving the Laurence Family. This motive should be entirely eliminated. Once the action does strike fire, however, and save for a few minor incidents, the story moves forward with a dramatic sweep that is irresistible and ends only with the death of the unfortunate girl whose fate is the principal reason for the play's existence. The interest in this portion of the story is maintained in a masterly manner, the author's understanding- of the law of contrast being a valuable aid to driving home the power and pathos of the situations. The happiness and peace of mind of the lighthearted bride is shown in opposition to the suffering and despair of the girl, who has not been warned in time. Her deathbed scene is impressive to the last degree, and all the incidents in which she figures have been treated with commendable restraint. Th bachelor supper, at the moment when the groom-elect receives the letter breaking off the engagement, is another fine dramatic point, and numerous examples of a similar nature are found throughout the play. To sum up the merits of "Enlighten Thy Daughter" in a sentence: Ninety per cent of the picture is drama of excellent quality. The ending is a concession to commercialism; it is also anti-climatic. The finish comes at the death of Lillian Stevens. Justice demands that a woman of such low moral fibre as the girl's mother should pay the penalty of her sins; but a reconciliation between Lillian's parents closes the story. The father is not blameless in the matter of his daughter's downfall and were the same fault the sum of the mother's guilt such an ending would be natural and right. The woman, however, is so lost to all sense of decency that she becomes the partner of a physician whose practice is mostly of a criminal nature, in order that she may indulge her passion for gambling. She also encourages him when he makes love to her and places her daughter in his hands when she learns her secret and is thus the indirect cause of her child's death. The strength of the moral lesson that is the excuse for selecting so bold a theme loses much of its value when Mrs. Stevens is seen in her husband's arms as the story ends. Of the work of the cast, it is a pleasure to write. The quality of histrionic ability contributed by Zena Keefe as Lillian Stevens is the high-water mark for this feature of the performance. In a part that might easily have been made mawkish and repugnant, she shows a fine restraint and conveys the mental anguish of Lillian with sure effect. Quick intelligence and deep feeling are apparent all through her work. Another consistent and earnest impersonation is the Daniel Stevens of Frank Sheridan. James Morrison, Katharine Kaelred, Marie Shotwell, Ruby De Reimer, Mathilda Brundage, Arthur Donaldson, Bernhard Neimyer, Violet Horner, Runa Hodges and Walter J. Gould are equal to the demands of their several roles. The photography by Marcel L. Picard, the settings and the direction by Ivan Abramson are adequate. - The Moving Picture World, January 6, 1917


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