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A Dixie Mother (1910)

Surrounded by the Union troops the Dixie mother's younger son is afraid to venture outside the house and rejoin his regiment. She urges him to go forth and battle for the cause; places a ... See full summary »

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The Dixie Mother
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The Husband
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Surrounded by the Union troops the Dixie mother's younger son is afraid to venture outside the house and rejoin his regiment. She urges him to go forth and battle for the cause; places a sword in his hand and again tells him to go, and inspires him with the zeal of her own feelings. He has hardly left the old mansion with his brother when he is shot dead by a detachment of Union soldiers and his brother is wounded. Rushing from the house, the mother looks upon her dead son, accuses the Union officer of the deed; he shows her he has only a sword and it must have been done by a bullet fired by one of his men. The officer is very courteous and expresses sorrow for her bereavement. The boy's body is carried into the house. The young officer and the scouts depart, taking prisoner the wounded son who is sent to a hospital tent of the Union encampment. After the soldiers have gone, the father comes from the secret chamber where he hid upon the approach of the enemy, beholds the body of his ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Drama

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17 December 1910 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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A master stroke of genius
28 September 2015 | by See all my reviews

Whether "A Dixie Mother" will live up to advance opinion it deserves to be called great. It will easily take a high position among dramas of the year because of its many fine qualities, and it deserves praise because plays of that sort answer captious criticism, and many like them would do away with censorship altogether. The fact that it is evenly balanced in the requisites of success makes it difficult to say whether it excels in inspiration, in acting or in scenic effect, but it may safely be pronounced eminent in each respect. Very few dramatists and still fewer novelists have successfully depicted the American woman as she really is. She is so complex that she evades analysis. In "A Dixie Mother," however, she is a pure type. It would be difficult to name a nobler type of American woman than the Southern wife and mother during the Civil War. Northern mothers made equally noble sacrifices during the war, but, after it was all over, the sad burden of defeat fell on the shoulders of her Southern sister. The sentiment of the picture hovers around this beautiful central figure and is clearly shown in nearly every one of the many stirring and affecting scenes, scenes true to life. "A Dixie Mother" is strong as a character portrayal. The central character is not a forced one. Only once does the enraged mother show a strain of tigerish ferocity, when she picks out the man who killed her youngest son almost before her eyes. The rest of the portrayal is one of fortitude, great courage under affliction, deprivation and danger. Her eldest son is wounded and taken prisoner, her despairing husband is also terribly wounded, she has a helpless household on her hands, but she neither fails nor falters. After the war is over, the Dixie mother is a gentle creature and shows another kind of fortitude in the patient way that she confronts hardship and privation. There is no change in her enduring affection for her family, but her husband refuses to become reconciled to a union of the North and the South that has produced a new generation. The new generation is typified by her eldest son's baby waving the old flag. Heartbroken over this after-hatred, the mother begs and entreats in vain. Then her proud spirit breaks at last. She is on the verge of mental dissolution and death when her irreconcilable husband relents. When he does yield, it is by no half measures. He surrenders to the new generation with such old-time chivalry that we smile through our tears. "A Dixie Mother" is a master stroke of genius. This kind of a picture will be far reaching in its influence and a popular one for the South and of especial interest to the whole country. We are not alone in these opinions and inform the trade that they may not miss this wonderful "Life Portrayal." - The Moving Picture World, November 26, 1910


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