Old Nest (1921)

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During the early '20s, sentimental films about mother love abounded. As the decade went on, however, such mawkish tales were replaced by thoroughly modern daughters and mothers who wanted to keep up with them. This 1921 drama starred Mary Alden -- the same actress who played the mulatto mistress in Birth of a Nation -- as the mother. In spite of running a very long ten reels in length, there really is very little plot. It focuses on the life of Dr. Horace Anthon (Dwight T. Crittenden), his self-sacrificing wife (Alden), and their six children, four boys and two girls. Although the parents do everything for their kids, loving them and disciplining them whenever necessary, the youngsters all grow up to be neglectful adults. The children even forget their mother's birthday as they carry on their own lives, and Mrs. Anthon's only joy is in remembering days gone by. One son becomes a lawyer and then U.S. attorney general. Finally, when he has achieved his greatest success, he remembers the old homestead and brings the family together again.

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doctor/nurse, father, love, mother, parent, self-sacrifice