Mrs. Earle dies at the birth of her child. Max, her husband, is so overcome with grief that he cannot bear to look at the child, foolishly attributing his wife's death to the innocent ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
William Humphrey ...
Max Earle - the Father
...
Mrs. Strong - Max's Sister
Hazel Neason ...
A Widow
Edna May ...
Helen - Max's Daughter
Adele DeGarde ...
Mrs. Srong's Younger Daughter
Edith Halleran ...
Mrs. Strong's Elder Daughter
George Cooper
...
Mrs. Earle - the Mother
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Storyline

Mrs. Earle dies at the birth of her child. Max, her husband, is so overcome with grief that he cannot bear to look at the child, foolishly attributing his wife's death to the innocent little one. He determines to get away from the scene of his sorrow and leaves his little daughter Helen in charge of his sister, Mrs. Strong, who has two children of her own. Mr. Earle goes to Paris and throws himself into the gaiety of the French capital. During his absence, his little daughter, now six years old, learns about her father; his photograph, which stands on her aunt's table, is the shrine at which she pours forth her childish prayers that her father will come back to her again. She seems to be like an odd sheep with her little cousins, who have the attention and kind caresses of loving parents, while she is without either. She feels alone and forgotten, and longs for parental sympathetic love. She has overheard her aunt speak about her father, and her little heart aches and pines the more ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Drama

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22 September 1911 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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The plaintive measures of this little play are cast in the simplest possible forms
16 April 2016 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

A minor chord can be made effective. Once in a while a delicate refrain from a pure-toned viola affects the audience more powerfully than the full orchestra in a crescendo movement, and this exquisite drama of childhood appeals strongly to the quality of mercy. The little- heeded truth uttered by the immortal Ruskin that "Whoever is not actively kind is cruel," is here suggested in a way that is bound to interest the thousands upon thousands who are making the environment of children a life study, yet the play is so quietly consistent, with beauty in every detail, that happiness and kindly sympathy are insensibly suggested and intensified by what is artistic or replete with varied design in scenic effect. The defect of inconsistency, so serious in literature, is positively ruinous in the photoplay where the action is swift and the individual peculiarities of each character must be enforced within vexatious limitations of time. On this account I can conceive that "Forgotten" was an exceedingly difficult play to present. The initial motive was beautiful, the director had something to start with, but it is quite another matter to make this visible and appreciated to a mixed audience in the space of twenty minutes. Too many of our picture plays begin with nothing. They are not considered under the heading of superior plays because they are neither attractive nor offensive. They are of little more value than that of showing characters in motion or supposed emotion; but there is another class of promise that leads us to think there is something of interest coming, only to end in nothing. They are sign posts that draw us into a blind alley when we thought we were on our way to some point of interest. Here is a little play so harmoniously balanced that its beauty is not forced on our sensibilities by any outrageous exhibition of cruelty or neglect, yet our hearts are stirred by dull echoes in our souls as they never are by more sensational, less-recognizable episodes in alleged thrillers. Very few of us believe that cowboys, engaged to herd steaks and roasts on the hoof, spend most of their time shooting up the town or rescuing distracted maidens from the savage Indians; nor are we inclined to shiver when the old fashioned villain of the Desperate Desmond type, with a cigarette dangling from his discolored lips, his left hand in the pocket of his dress pants, comes on the scene and honors the hero with a glance of deadly hatred out of the corners of his eyes. We do know of dark episodes in our lives as children, hence the swift appeal of the forgotten little one. She was born in the death throes of a much- loved wife, became the innocent object of his aversion before she was able to realize that the price paid for her existence was the annihilation of her father's fondest hopes, and was given into the care of a sister with children of her own while he sought distraction in other scenes. She bears her lot with silent suffering of spirit, not neglected, but deprived of the natural affection for which such tender creatures long intensely. This is a story of life as we know it, saturated with the essence of home spirit, and the simple tragedy of her career with its intense relief, is one of those unstudied, unborrowed glimpses of human experience that affect us like the folk songs we used to sing at twilight. The plaintive measures of this little play are cast in the simplest possible forms of stage expression, with some brilliant views of Parisian gaiety in relief, with an ending that is a tiny prayer of gratitude. - The Moving Picture World, September 30, 1911


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