Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Keys of the Righteous is set along a lonely stretch of the U.S.-Canadian border, which for nearly two decades has served as the residence of heroine Mary Manning (Enid Bennett). Frustrated and lonely, Mary is unable to leave her home because she must care for her invalid mother. Nor is she able to shake off the belief that her birth was the cause of her clergyman father's fall from grace. Not having seen her father in years, Mary becomes convinced that a ragged stranger (Josef Swickard), who has come to her door seeking shelter from the cold, is her long-lost daddy. It turns out that Mary's instincts are correct, whereupon she promises her dying mother that she will take care of her indigent father. Alas, despite Mary's best efforts, her dad returns to his old hedonistic ways, bringing further shame upon his family. Following her father to the local village's red-light district, Mary is arrested on suspicion of soliciting, a charge which she does not dispute, hoping to protect her father from further disgrace. But a kindly judge sizes up the situation and orchestrates a reconciliation between father and daughter -- and extracts an iron-clad promise that the father will immediately clean up his act.