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Swords and Hearts (1911)

Not Rated | | Drama, Short, War | 28 August 1911 (USA)
A poor girl is secretly in love with a wealthy young planter. During the Civil War she helps him escape capture by Union soldiers. After the war, with his fortune gone, she confesses that she loves him.


D.W. Griffith


Emmett C. Hall

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Cast overview:
Wilfred Lucas ... Hugh Frazier
Claire McDowell ... Irene Lambert
Dorothy West ... Jenny Baker
William J. Butler William J. Butler ... Old Ben (as W.J. Butler)
Charles West Charles West ... The Union Suitor
Verner Clarges Verner Clarges ... Hugh's Father
Francis J. Grandon Francis J. Grandon ... Jenny's Father
Alfred Paget ... 1st Bushwhacker
W.C. Robinson W.C. Robinson ... 2nd Bushwhacker


As Hugh Frazier, son of a wealthy tobacco planter, leaves to join his company in the Confederate Army, he becomes engaged to Irene Lambert, a beautiful, but cold and calculating girl, who promises her hand when he returns victorious. Unknown to Hugh, Jennie Baker, a little girl of the "poor white class," has fallen passionately in love with him. Her father is one of those who hate the "aristocrats," eking an existence selling berries, etc., from their little garden. Hugh, making a flying visit to Irene, is only saved from capture by Jennie's devotion, she taking his horse and donning his hat and coat, by which she leads his pursuers astray. That night, Jennie's father is killed leading an attack by Bushwhackers upon the Frazier Mansion in an attempt to secure the family wealth, but old Ben, the negro servant, anticipates their designs by taking the family strong box and burying it. The Bushwhackers, however, burn the old mansion to the ground, Hugh's father, perishing in the ruins. ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Plot Keywords:

american civil war | See All (1) »


Drama | Short | War


Not Rated






Release Date:

28 August 1911 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Espadas e Corações See more »

Filming Locations:

Coytesville, New Jersey, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Go West, Young Man
14 October 2007 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Dorothy West (as Jennie Baker) is of the "poor white class" in old Virginia; she longs for the love of Wilfred Lucas (as Hugh Frazier), the son of a wealthy tobacco planter; but, he only has eyes for the beautiful, calculating Claire McDowell (as Irene Lambert). After going off to join the Civil War, Mr. Lucas steals away from the fighting - to take in some relaxation time with Ms. McDowell. Ms. West has observed the tryst, and unselfishly saves Lucas from a bushwhacking by Union soldiers. Later, Lucas loses his estate in the war, so McDowell rejects him. When all seems lost, Lucas notices West's worth; and, they receive a pleasant surprise from slavishly loyal William J. Butler (as Old Ben). The performances in D.W. Griffith's "Swords and Hearts" are nice; especially that of West, they help convey much of the characters' feelings. The story, and use of the loyal "black-faced" Caucasian slave, drag the film down, however.

*** Swords and Hearts (8/28/11) D.W. Griffith ~ Dorothy West, Wilfred Lucas, Claire McDowell

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