What Becomes of the Children? (1918)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Message Movie  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This drama was supposedly propaganda for the child welfare societies, but the subject matter was rather unusual -- Moving Picture World called it a "powerful plea for home life for the unfortunate children of the rich." The couple here -- Howard Trayne and his wife (Walter Shumway and Corra Beach, who were actually married in real life) certainly aren't model parents. Mr. Trayne's business concerns take up all his attention and Mrs. Trayne spends her time with her society friends. Their three children are left in a governess' care. The youngest child dies because of the nurse's neglect and it causes the Traynes to split up. Mr. Trayne takes the son, Fred (Billy Sullivan), while his ex-wife takes the daughter, Marion (Gladys Dore). Fred goes away to college, but he gets into a barroom brawl and is expelled. Mr. Trayne disowns him. Marion, meanwhile, runs off with a man who deserts her. Fred finds her just as she is about to commit suicide rather than lead a life of shame. The two siblings join together to start life over again. The Traynes reconcile, but they never get their children back.

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Keywords

dysfunctional, expulsion, family-neglect, family-responsibilities, sibling, suicide-attempt