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The Black Stork (1917)

A young man and woman are considering marriage; eugenicist Harry J Haiselden warns that they are ill-matched and will produce defective offspring. He is right; their baby is born defective,... See full summary »

Writer:

Jack Lait (scenario)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jane Fearnley ... Miriam Fontaine
Allan Murnane Allan Murnane ... Tom Watson
Hamilton Revelle Hamilton Revelle ... Claude Leffingwell
Elsie Esmond Elsie Esmond ... Anne Schultz
Henry Bergman Henry Bergman ... The Detective
John Miltern John Miltern ... (as John T. Miltern)
Edgar L. Davenport Edgar L. Davenport
George Moss George Moss
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elsie Baker
Harry J. Haiselden Harry J. Haiselden ... Dr. Dickey (as Dr. Harry J. Haiselden)
Bessie Wharton Bessie Wharton ... (as Bessie Emerick)
Frances White Frances White
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Storyline

A young man and woman are considering marriage; eugenicist Harry J Haiselden warns that they are ill-matched and will produce defective offspring. He is right; their baby is born defective, dies quickly and floats into heaven. Written by Anonymous

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Taglines:

Kill defectives, save the nation and see 'The Black Stork'.

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1917 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Are You Fit to Marry? See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Homo Sapiens 1900 (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

The place to exploit it is not the moving picture theater
7 February 2015 | by deickemeyerSee all my reviews

The public at large remembers the case of Dr. Harry J. Haiselden, the Chicago physician who refused to operate on a newly-born deformed infant in order to prolong its life. This case inspired the writing of "The Black Stork." During the development of the story the terrible consequences that are visited upon the offspring of the man or woman in whose blood the taint of syphilis exists are pictured with uncompromising realism. Numerous types of mental and physical defectives are exhibited, and the entire picture takes the form of a clinic. In fact, about the only audience that the picture might be shown to would be a class of advanced medical students or those making a study of such conditions with a view to imparting such knowledge under proper conditions. The place to exploit it is not the moving picture theater. The revelation of such a subject is of vital importance to humanity, but only under proper conditions; these conditions are not to be found within the walls of a moving picture theater open to the general public. In other words, if "The Black Stork" be a fit subject for the public screen, then the books on the shelves of a doctor's library are fit subjects for places on the shelves of the juvenile department of a public library. I am convinced that an exhibitor who shows this picture with or without a preliminary examination will do himself and his community a distinct disservice, to put it mildly, and probably would commit an offense that by many of his patrons would be considered damnable. In saying this I would in no measure detract from the high and noble purposes that in all probability inspired Dr. Haiselden in his participation in the enterprise. As a propaganda picture, for exhibition before members of eugenic societies, it would reach its limit of usefulness. The story shows the source of the taint to have been in a slave woman, which, of course, means that the contamination is of a double character. The inclusion of the color question will give Southern exhibitors pause on this one angle alone. In the subject appear many deformed children, brought forward to exemplify the evil effects flowing from uneugenic marriages. The lot in life of their prototypes in every community can hardly be a happy one. What will be the position of one of these in a neighborhood following the showing of "The Black Stork," especially among his playmates? What of the parents? I submit this to the consideration of exhibitors who may give a second thought to the showing of "The Black Stork." – The Moving Picture World, February 24, 1917


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