A MOTHER'S ATONEMENT

Released 10/17/15 by Universal/Rex; Director: Joseph De Grasse; Screenplay: Ida May Park; 3 reels; Print Source: The Library of Congress (reels 1-2 only)

CAST: Cleo Madison (Jen/Alice Morrison), Lon Chaney (Ben Morrison), Ben Rothwell (Jasper Crane), Millard K. Wilson (John Newton), Arthur Shirley (James Hilton), Wyndham Standing (Wilbur Kent), Miss Manning (Dorothy Hilton)

SYNOPSIS: Ben Morrison and his daughter Jen live on an island not far from the mainland. Jasper Crane, a crude middle-aged man, wants to marry Jen, and bargains with Ben to obtain her. Ben relates the story of how his wife Alice deserted him for a city man, John Newton. Unwilling to marry Crane, Jen escapes through a trap door in the cottage and swims to the mainland where she is pulled out of the water by business partners James Hilton and Wilbur Kent, who is engaged to James' sister Dorothy. James takes an interest in Jen, but Mrs. Hilton decides that Jen must go. Kent gives Jen some money for expenses and tells her to come to him if she ever needs anything. Newton eventually tired of Alice, and she drifted into a vulgar social set. Kent decides he needs a final bachelor's spree before his marriage to Dorothy, and plans a party on his yacht. Newton is to be at the party, and Kent plans to surprise him with Alice. Jen is unable to find work in the city, and writes Kent for help. Her letter arrives at the height of the party, and Kent plans to add to the fun by bringing the girl there. When she arrives, Alice recognizes her daughter, but does not reveal her identity. Meanwhile, a financial crisis arises and Hilton hurries to the party to discuss the situation with Kent. When he arrives, he sees Alice, obviously uncomfortable in the riotous surroundings. Newton, seeing how Alice is suffering, asks for her forgiveness, and begs her to lead a life worthy of her daughter. Hilton and Jen declare their love for each other, while Newton comforts Alice who is overcome with emotion.

"This is not a picture for the unsophisticated as it makes no pretense of hiding its true colors. The first scenes, photographed in the environs of a lake, are ideal, being well chosen and excellently filmed." ---Motion Picture News

NOTES: Only the first two reels of the picture survive at the Library of Congress. Chaney appears both as the old Ben Morrison and, in flashback, as a young man.


© 1996,2014 Jon C. Mirsalis


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