The Mother and the Law (1919)

 |  Drama  |  18 August 1919 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 104 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

A re-edited version of the 'modern' story from Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916).



(screenplay), (story)
0Check in

10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1721 titles
created 26 Feb 2011
list image
a list of 9883 titles
created 29 Oct 2013
a list of 10 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 16 titles
created 7 months ago
a list of 1000 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Mother and the Law (1919)

The Mother and the Law (1919) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Mother and the Law.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the last days of ancient Babylon, a tomboyish mountain girl fights for her king when the city is attacked.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Tully Marshall, Constance Talmadge, Alfred Paget
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, Spottiswoode Aitken
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Susie, a plain young country girl, secretly loves a neighbor boy, William. She believes in him and sacrifices much of her own happiness to promote his own ambitions, all without his ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Wilbur Higby
Way Down East (1920)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An episodic biography of the 16th President of the United States.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Walter Huston, Una Merkel, William L. Thorne
Scarlet Days (1919)
Adventure | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A romantic bandit named Alvarez, wanted for raids on the mining camps of the California gold rush in 1849, is reformed by the love of a good woman.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Eugenie Besserer, Carol Dempster
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

This D.W Griffith silent classic features a new music score by writer composer, Jim Roberge.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Clarine Seymour, Creighton Hale
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young orphan girl, courted by an unpleasant older wealthy man who has a hold over her adoptive mother, falls in love with a young stranger at a party. Odd noises begin to be heard as a ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Carol Dempster, Henry Hull, Porter Strong
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Young lovers in a French village are torn apart with the coming of the Great War.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Adolph Lestina
America (1924)
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of a family caught up in the American Revolutionary War.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Neil Hamilton, Carol Dempster, Erville Alderson
The Struggle (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young couple's marriage is jeopardized by the husband's descent into alcoholism.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Hal Skelly, Zita Johann, Charlotte Wynters


Cast overview, first billed only:
The Boy
The Friendly One
Vera Lewis ...
Miss Mary Jenkins
Sam De Grasse ...
Clyde E. Hopkins ...
Jenkin's Secretary
F.A. Turner ...
The Girl's Father
Walter Long ...
The Musketeer of the Town
Ralph Lewis ...
The Governor
Edward Dillon ...
Chief Detective
A.W. McClure ...
The Priest
Lloyd Ingraham ...
The Judge
William Brown ...
The Warder
Max Davidson ...
The Kindly Neighbor
Alberta Lee ...
The Wife


Two young people are made homeless by a strike. They struggle valiantly to survive their desolate situation, which grows worse as reform-minded citizens remove the couple's child from their care and the young father is falsely accused and convicted of murder. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

strike | murder | marriage | slum | reform | See All (25) »


A drama of human hearts






Release Date:

18 August 1919 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anya és törvény  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »


Edited from Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Witness the Execution
24 November 2010 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

When his "Intolerance" (1916) failed to match the long-term box office returns of its predecessor, director D.W. Griffith extended the film's initial success by releasing two of his epic's four stories as separate features. These were "The Fall of Babylon" (comprising the film's opulent "Babylonian Story") and "The Mother and the Law" (comprising the film's outstanding "Modern Story" segments). These were released at a time when Griffith films continued to be in great demand.

Mixing old, cut, and brand new footage, "The Mother and the Law" is, on its own, an excellent film. The story was unreleased in 1914, then revised to follow-up the release of "The Birth of a Nation" (1915). Instead, it formed the basis for the anchor story of "Intolerance", which was at least partially influenced by the criticism of Griffith as a racist - which was not a accusation leveled in hindsight; it was immediate, and was a profound (and positive) influence on the rest of Griffith's career.

"Intolerance" was also criticized - this time, for Griffith's stinging attack on the Moralists (or Reformers) of society. In the film, they are the "Uplifters" group of women who proclaim, "We must have laws to make people good." These legislators of morality are still around, along with many of the themes Griffith covers in "The Mother and the Law". But, the director did not consider groups like "The Salvation Army" to be Uplifters - so, in new footage, they are seen doing positive work.

The most important change, or addition, to the story involves a scene which accompanies the devastating words, "Owing to your lack of care of the baby before we took it, it has died." Those familiar with "Intolerance" should be able to figure out how this line fits in; and, it accompanies an outstanding scene featuring Mae Marsh ("The Dear One"). We also learn that Robert Harron ("The Boy") had Miriam Cooper ("The Friendly One") as his "first sweetheart," which helps explain her motivation.

There are additional subtle, and some starkly different moments. Mr. Harron's passing of an open grave serves to put his own fate back in play. The additional footage of Harron and Ms. Marsh at a lumberyard is simplicity in complex. And, the striking original images remain - even the tortured spinster Vera Lewis (as Mary Jenkins) acting the line, "Seeing youth drawn to youth, Miss Jenkins realizes the bitter fact that she is no longer a part of the younger world," deserved singular praise, somewhere.

********* The Mother and the Law (8/18/19) D.W Griffith ~ Mae Marsh, Robert Harron, Miriam Cooper, Walter Long

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Availability? TheMajorNL
Discuss The Mother and the Law (1919) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: