The White Heather

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The White Heather
Maurice Tourneur The White Heather.jpg
Advertisement, 1919
Directed by Maurice Tourneur
Produced by Maurice Tourneur
Written by Cecil Raleigh (play)
Henry Hamilton (play)
Charles E. Whittaker
Starring Holmes Herbert
Ben Alexander
Ralph Graves
Mabel Ballin
Cinematography René Guissart
Harold S. Sintzenich
Distributed by Famous Players-Lasky Corporation
Release dates
June 29, 1919
Running time
70 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)

The White Heather is a 1919 American silent drama film directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring Holmes Herbert, Ben Alexander and Ralph Graves. It was based on an 1897 play of the same title by Cecil Raleigh and Henry Hamilton. The future matinee idol John Gilbert appeared in a supporting part. It is not known whether the film currently survives,[2] which suggests that it is a lost film.


As described in a film magazine,[3] Lord Angus Cameron (played by Herbert) of the White Heather country finds himself seriously embarrassed financially during a stock exchange panic and goes to Donald Cameron (Alexander) on his country estate for a loan. Donald refuses because Angus will not contract a favorable marriage with one of his class. With ruin facing him, Angus decides to rid himself of a secret marriage made with his housekeeper Marion Hume (Ballin) on his yacht before it was sunk. Documentary evidence of the marriage now lies many fathoms underwater, and one witness is dead while another, a sailor, has vanished on some voyage. During a hunt Angus accidentally shoots his son from the marriage, leading Marion to announce it to save her injured son. Angus denies the marriage, so Marion goes to her father James Hume (Aitken), while two admirers of Marion hunt for the missing witness in the London underworld. Her father fights for his daughter's honor in court, but the case is lost for lack of evidence, and he is ruined on the exchange, dying when he is unable to meet his liabilities. When the missing witness is found, Angus bribes him to disappear. There remain only the papers in a chest on the sunken yacht, and diving operations are ongoing. The two admirers and Lord Angus hasten to the scene. One of the admirers dives on the yacht as does Angus armed with a knife. During an underwater struggle Angus accidentally cuts his own air hose and is killed. The admirer returns to the surface with the proof of the marriage and claims Marion for himself, while the second admirer dies while also confessing his love.



  1. ^ Waldman p.82
  2. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: The White Heather at
  3. ^ Harrison, Louis Reeves (May 17, 1919). "Reviews and Advertising Aids: The White Heather". Moving Picture World. New York City: Chalmers Publishing Company. 40 (7): 1070–71. Retrieved 2014-09-07. 


  • Waldman, Harry. Maurice Tourneur: The Life and Films. McFarland, 2008.

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