David Torrence has spent his life accumulating wealth and then it strikes him that he would like to have a child. Being a high-powered executive type with no time for things like marriage, he writes his brother, a poor farmer, offering to swap him a house and a reasonable annuity for one of his seven children. And no one seems to think this odd.
Well, there is some precedence for it. Children were exported from Britain into the farmlands of Australia and Canada well into the middle of the Twentieth Century, but this set-up, changing what should have been a generous offer of help from one brother to another "If you'll send me a child, I'll see to his or her rearing and education. It's the least one brother can do for another...." and so forth, into a a business deal, is meant to raise the hackles of a sentimental audience. And the entire movie becomes the agony of losing one of these adorable children.
The set-up is calculated, the anguish is overdrawn and the ending is evident. But no harm done, if we can judge by Torrence's indulgent expression as he reads his brother's letter. I suppose he has decided on another hobby, like collecting French courtesans. Much more entertaining.
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