Mother Heart (1921)

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John Howard (Cecil Van Auker) is broke and without a job. He is forced to steal food for his family, but he is caught and sent to prison. Mrs. Howard dies of a broken heart, and her three children, May (Shirley Mason), Ella (Peggy Eleanor), and her baby are sent to a home. Ella is adopted by a wealthy woman, while May is sent to be the housekeeper for George Stuart (Edwin Booth Tilton), the man who owns the chain of stores where her father was arrested. Stuart is angry when he sees May because he thinks she is too small to handle the housework around the farm where he is resting. He blows his stack when he discovers that she has also brought her baby sister with her. May turns out to be a great cook, so he relents and lets her stay. Farm hand Billy Bender (Raymond McKee) falls for May. Meanwhile, Ella has become the heir of her adopted mother, and Clifford Hamilton (William Buckley), who was responsible for Howard's arrest, makes a play for her. Stuart finds out that Hamilton has been stealing money from him and has him discharged. Hamilton takes off to elope with Ella, but the authorities catch up with him before they can get married. Stuart has Howard set free and brings him to the farm to be reunited with May and Ella.

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Keywords

betrayal, death, execution, false-accusation, father, honor [recognition], housekeeper, imprisonment, mother, poverty, sister