Photo courtesy of Allison Shealy


Released 4/11/15 by Universal/Rex; Director: Joseph De Grasse; Screenplay: Ida May Park; 3 reels

CAST: Pauline Bush (Jean Chesney), Helene Rosson (Rita Chesney), Queenie Rosson (Lilly Chesney), Lon Chaney (Henry Leslie), Ray Gallagher (Bob Leslie)

SYNOPSIS: Jean Chesney has always been mother to her younger sisters Rita and Lilly. Jean works as an extra girl at the local theatre, forcing her to leave the younger girls alone evenings. Henry Leslie, Rita's employer, has been making advances toward her, while his son Bob after drinking heavily one night, forces his attentions on Jean who slaps his face. Convinced that he can win Jean over, he frequently sends her flowers, which she consistently rejects. Lilly is taken ill, and Leslie promises Rita that he can do much to help the sick girl. Bob learns that his mother has had a heart attack and goes in search of his father to bring him the news. Meanwhile, Jean returns home to find Rita gone; Lilly reluctantly confides that she has gone for a ride in the country with Leslie. In the country, Leslie's kindly manner has turned sour after several glasses of wine, and as he is about to force himself on Rita, Jean arrives to stop him. Bob arrives and, seeing his father with Jean, assumes the worst. He tells his father the grave news and they hurry home only to find that Mrs. Leslie has died. Bob takes to heavy drinking to drown his sorrows. One night, while in a drunken stupor, he is beaten, robbed, and dumped in an alley. Jean stumbles over the body on her way home from the theatre and helps the man to her home. Rita tells Bob the story of her and his father, and he is thrilled to learn that Jean is the good girl he had believed her to be. Bob begs Jean for her forgiveness, and she gives him a smile, his first sign of hope.

"A strong three-reel offering written by Ida May Park...This has all been done before, but in this particular story it is worked out very naturally and many of the situations are strong. It is all interesting and the sordid moments are not drawn out too long. Jean's love story turns out well and the close is very effective." ---Moving Picture World.

NOTES: The film was released in Great Britain as ON THE VERGE OF SIN.

© 1996,2013 Jon C. Mirsalis

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