A widowed mother must struggle to raise her four children. She insists that the youngest of them, who turns out to be a gifted architect, must leave the family in order to save his career and to avoid a scandal.



(from the novel by), (screen version)

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Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Peterson ...
Mary Williams
Beattie Williams
David Manners ...
Arthur 'Artie' Williams
Edward Woods ...
Daniel 'Danny' Williams
Evalyn Knapp ...
Jenny Williams
Mr. Gerald Hart
Jean Laverty ...
Sadye Noonan Williams (as Jean Bary)
Pat O'Malley ...
Frank Williams


Having raised four children alone, widow Mary Williams still manages to love her eldest son, vicious and sadistic Danny Williams, who has led a life of crime and now returns to inflict his insane behavior on the family household. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated





Release Date:

7 December 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mother's Cry  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Library of Congress online catalogue lists the title of Helen Grace Carlisle's novel as "Mother Cry", but by all other accounts, the title is "Mother's Cry". See more »


Daisy Bell (A Bicycle Built For Two)
(1892) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Harry Dacre
Played on a harmonica by an unidentified man and sung by riders on a horse-drawn streetcar
See more »

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User Reviews

Over-egged melodrama
30 October 2003 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

The archetypal creaky early talkie, Mothers Cry stars Dorothy Peterson as the hard put upon mother of four whose bad seed son (Edward Woods) brings ill repute and woe upon the family. Her one note performance is only outdone in ineptitude by Woods, who rolls his eyes and snarls through a mask of heavy pancake makeup and distracting lipstick. In all honesty, he looks like Michael Jackson. The rest of the family is portrayed by David Manners and Helen Chandler (a year away from starring together in Dracula), neither of whom distinguish themselves, and Evelyn Knapp, who delivers the best performance here, though that isn't saying much. Reginald Pasch appears as Knapp's German husband, a decent sort who sounds like he's seen one too many El Brendel pictures. The best thing about Mothers Cry? It's literally the final shot of the film, as Peterson admires the Anton Grot designed handiwork of her architect son (Manners). For very hardcore '30s buffs and masochists only.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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