Enlighten Thy Daughter (1917)

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This is a melodramatic exploitation picture about the tragedy that can result if parents do not inform their daughters of the facts of life. According to this film -- and to the strict morals of 1910's society -- it only takes one misstep for a young lady to come to eternal ruin. Lillian (Zena Keefe) is an innocent young girl whose mother (Katherine Kaelred), a gambling addict, has protected from the sordid side of life. As a result, when Lillian and her date, Harold (James Morrison), get caught in a storm and are out overnight, he can take full advantage of the situation. Later, Lillian confides in her mother that she is pregnant. The mother's latest boyfriend is an illegal abortionist and when he performs the operation on Lillian, she dies. Meanwhile, Harold, who has reformed, has fallen in love with Lillian's cousin, Ruth (Ruby DeReimer). But the romance is ruined for Ruth when she discovers that Harold was the cause of Lillian's death. This silly moralistic tale had a surprisingly long life -- it was remade in 1934.