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Home, Sweet Home (1914)

Passed | | Drama | 17 May 1914 (USA)
John Howard Payne at his most miserable point in life, writes a song which becomes popular and inspires other people at some point in their lives.


D.W. Griffith


D.W. Griffith (story), H.E. Aitken (scenario) (as Harry E. Aitken)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry B. Walthall ... John Howard Payne
Josephine Crowell ... Payne's Mother
Lillian Gish ... Payne's Sweetheart
Dorothy Gish ... Sister of Payne's Sweetheart
Fay Tincher ... The Worldly Woman
Mae Marsh ... Apple Pie Mary Smith
Spottiswoode Aitken ... James Smith - Mary's Father
Robert Harron ... The Eastener, Robert Winthrop
Miriam Cooper ... The Fiancee
Mary Alden ... The Mother
Donald Crisp ... The Mother's Son
James Kirkwood ... The Mother's Son
Jack Pickford ... The Mother's Half-Wit Son
Fred Burns Fred Burns ... The Sheriff
Courtenay Foote ... The Husband


Over the protests of his mother and sweetheart, writer John Howard Payne leaves home seeking adventure. In England, he becomes involved with The Worldly Woman who rebukes him after he returns penniless from debtors' prison. He travels to France and then Tunis, where he dies, leaving only the song "Home, Sweet Home" as his legacy. In another story, Apple Pie Mary, a cook in a mining camp, loves a young man who goes East to marry a wealthy woman. He hears the song, however, and returns to Mary. The next story concerns a widow with three sons. When one son kills another over money, the grief-stricken widow wants to commit suicide, but she hears the song and decides to live for the sake of her third son. The final story involves a young wife who plans to leave her older husband for a younger man. As she hears the melody played by a violinist in another apartment, she decides to stay with her husband and the two raise a family. Finally, Payne is seen in a pit, imprisoned by Lust and Greed.... Written by Pamela Short

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Typifying the Life, Work and Death of John Howard Payne, author of the song that reaches every human heart. (original poster)





Did You Know?


Released in two parts of three reels each. See more »


Featured in Mary Pickford: A Life on Film (1997) See more »

User Reviews

An Interesting Idea That Works Fairly Well
29 April 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

The idea of joining together four different narratives with the theme of "Home, Sweet Home" works fairly well in this early full-length D.W. Griffith feature. The account of composer John Howard Payne's own life is interesting for the way that it puts his well-known song in context. The other three stories vary in quality, but all are at least worth seeing. The format seems to have been a hedge against the possibility that releasing the whole thing as one picture might be unsuccessful. But Griffith and others would soon make better use of the multiple narrative idea, making this feature of some interest historically.

Of the three fictional stories, one is mostly routine (the young married couple), one is pretty good (the young man heading out west), and one is somewhat interesting but heavy-handed and unconvincing (the two brothers). All of them are similar to familiar kinds of one-reel dramas from the era. None of the stories are particularly memorable, but they're not bad either. As a whole, the idea and the material are good enough to make it worth watching.

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None | English

Release Date:

17 May 1914 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mother Love See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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