Child Thou Gavest Me (1921)

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This awkwardly titled drama makes for an interesting look into the morals of the first part of the 20th century. On her wedding day, Norma Huntley (Barbara Castleton) wants to tell Edward Berkley, her husband-to-be (Lewis Stone), her secret -- that she mothered a child out of wedlock which subsequently died. Her mother (Adele Farrington) forbids her to reveal this. Only moments after the ceremony, it is discovered that the child, now three, is actually alive. Berkley, incensed at this turn of events, agrees to adopt the child and remain married for appearance's sake -- but when he finds the father, he will kill him. He comes to suspect that family friend Tom Marshall (William Desmond) is the guilty party and invites him to the couple's country home to keep an eye on him. When Berkley finds Tom and Norma in the hall together during a storm, he shoots him, but then Norma reveals that the father was a soldier who attacked her while she was serving as a nurse in Belgium. Upon hearing her tale, Berkley realizes that he is the guilty one. He is ready to commit suicide, but Norma insists that they stay together and raise their child. Luckily, Marshall has only suffered a minor wound.

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Keywords

accident, adoption, deception, doctor/nurse, illegitimacy, Nazism, poverty, rape, reunion, sweetheart, war, war-atrocities, wedding