The Mothering Heart
|The Mothering Heart|
Still from the film
|Directed by||D. W. Griffith|
|Cinematography||G. W. Bitzer|
|23 minutes (18 frame/s)|
The film opens by showing a young woman (Lillian Gish) in a garden. She is tender hearted, demonstrated by her appreciation of the flowers and the rescuing of a puppy. A melancholic young man (Walter Miller) woos her and she is foolishly swayed more by his pain of rejection than her love for him and eventually agrees to marry.
Later in their new home together she takes in washing to help support them when her new husband has little income. Things change when he finds some success in a well paid job. He insists they celebrate at a restaurant where there is an Apache dance cabaret. He wears a new suit but she her plain street clothes. Her husband's eye is caught by a sophisticated single woman (Viola Barry) at the next table. Later, encouraged by the woman, the husband begins to deceive his wife and have clandestine meetings with her. She is rich and has a chauffeur-driven car at her disposal.
The wife, now pregnant, as evidenced by her interest in baby clothes, discovers a glove in her husband's coat pocket. She follows him and uncovers his deceit. After confronting her husband she leaves him and returns to the home of her mother (played by Kate Bruce) where the baby is born.
We now see the husband being dropped by the sophisticated woman for a new richer male companion (Charles West). The dejected husband sitting alone at home receives a letter from the wife telling him of the birth. He resolves to make it up with her.
We learn next that the baby has becomes ill and is attended by a doctor (Adolph Lestina). The husband arrives at the wife's mother's house and she allows him to see the wife and child. However the wife wants none of him and angrily rejects him. While the husband sits dejected in the garden the baby dies. The wife vents her anger on the bushes in the part of the garden in which the film opened.
She returns to find her husband bent in grief over the crib. He is tenderly holding the baby's dummy. Their hands touch and the husband sees she is still wearing her wedding ring. They are reunited in an embrace and the film ends.
- Walter Miller as Joe - the Young Husband
- Lillian Gish as The Young Wife
- Kate Bruce as Young Wife's Mother
- Viola Barry as The 'Idle Woman' / Outside Club (as Peggy Pearce)
- Charles West as The 'New Light' / Among Waiters
- Adolph Lestina as The Doctor / Club Patron
- Jennie Lee as The Wash Customer
- Charles Murray as Male Apache Dancer
- Gertrude Bambrick as Female Apache Dancer
- William J. Butler as Club Patron
- Christy Cabanne as Outside Club
- Donald Crisp as Undetermined Role (unconfirmed)
- Josephine Crowell as Woman Collecting Ironing
- Edward Dillon as Club Patron
- John T. Dillon as Club Patron
- William Elmer as Doorman
- Dell Henderson as Club Patron
- Harry Hyde as Outside Club
- J. Jiquel Lanoe as Outside Club / Club Patron
- Charles Hill Mailes as Club Patron
- Mae Marsh as Undetermined Role (unconfirmed)
- Joseph McDermott as Among Waiters
- Alfred Paget as Club Patron
- Gus Pixley as Club Patron
- W. C. Robinson as Club Patron
- Henry B. Walthall as Club Patron
- "Progressive Silent Film List: The Mothering Heart". Silent Era. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
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