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Wealthy cripple Markley finances the education of blacksmith's daughter Ruth. When she returns to their small town he asks to marry her, but she runs off with city worker Jim Dirk who is then killed in a subway accident. Markley offers to marry her in name only to protect her new son. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Amazingly different from any other photo-play DeMille has ever made. A tale of plain folks and bare realities, unfolded with a power and heart grip that only the "Miracle Man" has approached. A tale of green lanes and gay streets, of blind youth and grim reckoning, of love, luxury, beauty, and something else that never before has appeared in a motion picture. Destined to cause more public discussion than any other drama ever screened. Yet first, last and always an eye filling, heart filling, gorgeous entertainment, that every soul that is human will eagerly want to see. See more »
Solid DeMille melodrama about a young girl (Gloria Swanson) to promises to marry an older man (Elliott Dexter) who is also a cripple. He sends her off to school and she comes back a lady. But she falls in love with a local boy (Monte Blue) and on the eve of her wedding, runs off with the boy to the city.
Her father, the village blacksmith (Theodore Roberts) is blinded by sparks and refuses to ever see the daughter again. Dexter becomes bitter at the loss of Swanson.
Later, the boy is killed in an accident while digging a subway tunnel in New York. The pregnant Swanson tries to work but is fired. She contemplates suicide in the river (same river that killed the husband) in a beautifully lit scene, but a hobo talks her into going home.
Back home as she attempts to hang herself after her father refuses to forgive her, Dexter happens by and takes her back...... Years later Dexter clearly loves the boy but has refused to forgive Swanson. The housekeeper (Claire McDowell) keeps preaching forgiveness but he just can't do it.
Then, and only in a DeMille melodrama, McDowell gets Swanson to forgive the men she has wronged and at that moment, her father regains his sight and Dexter throws away his crutches. A bit much but all very effective.
Swanson is, as always, superb--the best of the silent screen actresses. Dexter is the perfect upper class DeMille hero. Everyone else is also good. Co-stars Julia Faye as the town gossip. Theodore Kosloff is the clown.
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