Polly Put the Kettle on (1917)

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This sentimental and saccharin tale involves the self-sacrificing Polly (Ruth Clifford), who is obliged to take care of her younger brothers and sisters after the death of her inventor father. She goes to work for an illtempered old lady who has a charming young nephew, Chester Hollingsworth (Douglas Gerrard, who also directed). Chester comes between Polly and her employer; he ends up leaving home and Polly is fired. Polly goes to work at a hospital where Chester is taken after saving Polly's brothers and sisters from a burning building. He has been blinded and his sight can be restored only by an expensive operation. His aunt could afford to pay for it, but he has sworn that he will never accept money from her while she lives. Polly tracks down the aunt (whose demeanor by now has softened considerably) and tells her the situation, suggesting that the answer is for her to "die." So the aunt fakes her own death to give Chester the money for the operation. But she does not disappear -- she plays housekeeper for her nephew, and is there, smiling at him over Christmas dinner, when his bandages are finally removed.