Is Your Daughter Safe? (1927)

Genres - Drama  |  
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According to the trade-paper Variety, this "educational" exploitation melodrama was "possibly the strongest and most daring of so-called hygiene and sex warning pictures ever made." That was certainly the intention of roadshow entrepreneur S.S. Millard, who combined a rather tawdry white slavery melodrama with inserted footage depicting ravaged victims -- including children -- of venereal disease. The film's alternate title being The Girl in the Glass case, Millard advertized his film by having a woman posing in a glass construction outside the theater. The film industry's self-governed censorship board, the MPPDA, refused to give the film its seal of approval, making Millard's little melodrama even more exploitative. Like most late-silent exploitation films, Is Your Daughter Safe? had much more in common with the white slavery dramas of the early 1910s than the more enlightened fare emanating from the major studios, its moralistic views belonging to the "uplift" movement of pre-World War I. Vivian Winston eschews her virtuous boyfriend (Jerome Young) in favor of dallying with a libertine (William Dennis). She is saved in the nick of time from a fate worse than death by refusing to follow the example of a friend (Bernice Breacher), who is led down the garden path to a life of prostitution and venereal disease. Leading lady Winston, who appeared in the B-Western Land of the Lawless that same year, joined a semi-professional cast that also included rotund Henry Roquemore as a character depicted as The Beast; Palmer Morrison as a doctor; Hugh Saxon as a gambler; Joe Bonner, as a seducer of young women; Georgia O'Dell as a madam, and, to insure the film's acceptance by the strict censorship board of Chicago, Mayor William Hale Thompson of that city's Vice Commission, as himself.

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Keywords

danger, daughter, disease, exploitation, parent, warning