Human Hearts (1922)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |  
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After the wild party held by Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle that allegedly resulted in a girl's death, and the unsolved murder of director William Desmond Taylor, Women's Clubs -- and the film industry itself -- began to clamor for what was called "clean" entertainment. This picture was Universal's attempt to come up with something wholesome, but it was really just a standard (though well-done) melodrama in a country setting -- the scenes of innocent rural life apparently meant to make it "clean." Tom Logan (House Peters) is taken in by a scheming city woman, Barbara Kay (Edith Hallor). Barbara knows that Tom will inherit his father's land, which sits on a coal field, and she wants a piece of the action. His father (Russell Simpson) sees right through her, and cuts Tom off when he marries her. They have a baby and everything seems all right for a while, but then Barbara tires of the drudgery of farm life. She asks her old lover, just out of prison, to come for her. Tom's father tries to stop them and the lover kills him. Tom thinks that his wife is the guilty one and takes the blame. But Barbara, who is being mistreated by her lover, confesses the truth. After Tom gets out, he finds Barbara and her lover together. The two men fight, and Barbara is killed trying to protect Tom. Tom and his child return to the farm and to his old mother (Gertrude Claire). Incidentally, the story to this picture was written by Hal Reid, father of Wallace Reid -- the star who would die a year later from drug addiction and create yet another Hollywood scandal.

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