Clean Heart (1924)

Genres - Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Romantic Drama  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |  
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Film pioneer J. Stuart Blackton was nearing the end of his directing career when he made this surprisingly warm human interest drama. Because he has to support his aunt, uncle, and his brother's four orphaned children, Philip Wriford (Percy Marmont) buries himself in work. He becomes a newspaper editor and a successful author, but he also has a mental breakdown. Believing that he is being followed by another self which is urging him to try other things, Wriford wanders through the countryside and is befriended by a tramp called Puddlebox (Otis Harlan). When the two men are trapped on an rocky ledge that won't hold their combined weight as the tide rises, Puddlebox sacrifices his life for Wriford. While recovering in a hospital, Wriford meets Essie Bickers (Marguerite de la Motte), who falls in love with him. When he asks her to go away with him without the benefit of a marriage certificate, she flings herself from a cliff. Wriford believes she is dead and is shattered by what his selfish attitude has caused. He returns to his former home in London, but a year later returns to the country. There he finds Essie, still alive but crippled from her fall. He promises to marry her and spend his life making her happy.

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Keywords

accident, doctor/nurse, handicap, happiness, injury, love, marriage, search, writing