Melissa of the Hills - Mary Miles Minter Lost Film
Melissa Stark ( Mary Miles Minter ) lives in the Tennessee hills with her father, Jethro ( Spottiswoode Aitken ), a self-styled evangelist. Amongst them lives the feuding Allison and Watts families who pay no heed to the preachings and sacrifices of Jethro, while Melissa tries to ease the quarrels among children of the feuding families. Melissa also takes care of her father, and invents money-making schemes to relieve their poverty. One day Melissa reads in a newspaper that society lady, Mrs. Sanders ( Gertrude Le Brandt ) has offered to give clothes to a deserving girl. Melissa writes her requesting a party dress for herself and a new coat for Jethro for the annual revival meeting. When Mrs. Sanders arrives, her husband recognizes Jethro as a fugitive wanted for murder. A deputy sheriff is notified to arrest Jethro, Melissa gains help from the Watts faction, and a battle ensues. Jethro is killed trying to stop the fighting, his innocence is finally confirmed. Now the long time feuding families reconcile and Melissa finds love with young lawyer Tom Williams ( Allan Forrest ).
Melissa of the Hills was directed by James Kirkwood, who also directed some Mary Pickford films. Mary Miles Minter was a popular Pickford rival, complete with long blonde curls and youthful roles, the storyline of this lost silent, sounds very much like a Mary Pickford film.
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