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Mothers of Men (1917)

Not Rated | | Drama | November 1917 (USA)
A melodrama about a woman governor whose husband is accused and convicted of a bombing and the dilemma she has to struggle with --- whether to let the law take its course and the pressures ... See full summary »



(as J.F. Natteford), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
... Clara Madison
Willis Robards ... Grant Williams
Maclyn King ... 'Big Bill' Deavitt
... Jack Scranton
Wilson Du Bois ... Dan Channing
Mrs. Hal Reid ... Mrs. Madison
Katherine Griffith ... Maida
Arthur Tavares ... Giuseppe
Billie Bennett ... Undetermined Role
Marcella Russell ... Undetermined Role
Harry Griffith ... Undetermined Role
Grace Blake ... Undetermined Role
George Utell ... Undetermined Role


A melodrama about a woman governor whose husband is accused and convicted of a bombing and the dilemma she has to struggle with --- whether to let the law take its course and the pressures put on her by family, friends and political pundits. Written by Guy Warinner

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Not Rated




Release Date:

November 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Every Woman's Problem  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$10,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In 1921, "Mothers of Men" was re-released under the title "Every Woman's Problem." See more »


Outside the "Democrat" offices, a chalkboard with latest headlines talks of congress voting to allow the president (Wilson) to declare war, indicating this is supposed to be happening in April, 1917. However, later, we see at the police station, a large wall calendar for August, 1916. See more »


Title Card: Only a woman, in life's blackest moment, can draw upon the mysterious reservoirs of Love for strength to force a cheering smile.
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User Reviews

Very melodramatic to say the least!
14 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

"Mothers of Men" is a ridiculously melodramatic film...and I'll talk more about that in just a bit. Despite having a plot which is impossible to believe, it is well worth seeing as it's an important film in the history of women. When the film came out in 1917, women in most of the United States could not legally vote and the 19th Amendment was still a few years away. However, the film shows that a good woman could make a great elected official and that women are tough enough and up to the task.

When the film begins, a group of women come to Clara and ask her to run for office. After all, she's a lawyer and could make a fine judge. This is tested, however, when one of her husband's clients is up for an appeal and instead of recusing herself, she rejects the appeal outright--earning her a lot of respect among the public. However, when she is later asked to run for governor, things get really wacky. The local newspaper is blown up by a nasty Italian* and soon Clara's husband is implicated as well. Considering the editor of the paper was killed, the husband could likely get the death penalty. Yet Clara does not intervene as she knows that weakness will hinder the cause of women...and even though she is (gasp) pregnant!! What's going to happen to the hubby and poor Clara?!

If you think the plot is unbelievable, you're mostly right. Think about all the difficult to believe plot elements...but one is possible and that is back in 1924 (only a few years later), a woman DID become governor in Wyoming! So, at least that part of the film isn't far-fetched. Enjoyable but often super-melodramatic to the point that it impacts on the overall quality of the film (esepcially the ending as well as the preachy quality of many of the intertitle cards). But, given when it was made, it's also surprisingly watchable and certainly is interesting!

*Having the anarchistic guy be a foreigner with a silly intertitle accent is not too surprising. While the film is very modern in most of its sensibilities, the distrust of Italians and the like was, sadly, a product of its time.

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