Young Lena Rivers, who was born out of wedlock, goes to live with a rich uncle. Unfortunately, her uncle's wife and daughter make no secret of their dislike of Lena and that they don't want her in their family.
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Lena Rivers ('Charlotte Henry'), born in New England under clouded parentage, robbed of her mother at birth, transplanted with her grandmother(Beryl Mercer) to her uncle's plantation in Kentucky, suffered to remain there out of pity and constantly taunted by her cousin, Caroline (Joyce Compton),finds a friend in Henry Graham (James Kirkwood), the owner of the adjoining plantation. Graham's ward, Dorrie (Morgan Galloway), is the apple of Caroline's eye, but he seems to prefer Lena's company to Caroline's, is another discord in the harmony of the home. When Caroline sees Dorrie kiss Lena goodnight she flaunts her with the information that Lena's mother was never married, Lena's cup of bitter tea is filled to overflowing, and a hatred in her heart for her unknown father grows. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Greater as a Screen Romance...The immortal story of the girl of unknown parentage is now dimming the eyes of the nation's picture fans---and then cheers as Lena Rivers forgets the bitterness that makes the kiss of love sweeter. See more »
When this film begins, a woman has just died after giving birth to a child--and the woman was apparently not married, or, if she was, no one knows who the father is. Because of this, the baby (Lena) is brought up by her grandparents. But when her grandfather dies, the grandma and Lena are in need of a home and are forced to seek a home from the grandma's son in Kentucky--a son who is weak and married to an awful woman and together they have an awful daughter. In many ways, it's a like "Cinderella"--with the pair being forced to live with a nasty lady and her nasty daughter. The nastiness gets worse when a handsome neighbor starts showing attention to Lena--mostly because Lena is a sweet young woman and her cousin is a nasty thing! What's next for Lena now that her uncle, aunt and cousin make it apparent she isn't wanted? And, who IS Lena's father and where is he now?
There is a lot to like and hate about this one. I noticed one person gave it a 10, but I am just not as forgiving. On the plus side, Charlotte Henry WAS very good in the lead and the script was generally very nice. Overall, I did enjoy the film. But, on the other hand, the film wasn't always so expertly crafted--such as the sloppily made drunk driving scene and a bit of the acting here and there was only fair. Plus, some will blanch (and rightly so) due to one bit of dialog. While looking at the black people signing, Lena asks "Are they really as happy as they seem?"--at which point, the guy responds "Happy as children!". Surely this will induce a few cringes!!
By the way, in addition to the title "Lena Rivers", the film also is known as "The Sin of Lena Rivers" and it sure makes this nice movie sound like an exploitation film--which it's NOT!
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