Synopsis by Janiss Garza
In addition to her illustrious career as a screenwriter, Frances Marion also directed a few pictures. This one, based on a Fannie Hurst story that was published in the Saturday Evening Post, is typical of Marion's sentimental tastes. Since the screenwriter had worked quite a bit with Mary Pickford, it's not surprising that Sigrid Holmquist was cast to star here -- she had gained a reputation in her native country as "the Swedish Mary Pickford." Ma Birdsong, a widow (Margaret Seddon), is devoted to her two teenage children -- Jimmy (Lewis Sargent) and Essie (Holmquist). They live on New York's Lower East Side, and against her mother's wishes, Essie gets a job as a theater usher. The girl becomes involved with Joe Ullman, a young man of questionable morals (Edward Phillips). Mrs. Birdsong wants to meet Essie's sweetheart, but Ullman does everything he can to avoid this. Finally, when her mother is dying, Essie realizes how neglectful she has been. Still, Ullman refuses to come to Mrs. Birdsong's bedside. But Essie finds a kind stranger (Fred Thomson) who offers to play her boyfriend. Mrs. Birdsong dies believing that her daughter will be taken care of. And she's right -Essie and the stranger fall in love. Actor Fred Thomson, incidentally, was Frances Marion's husband. Later in the decade he became a cowboy star.
city, daughter, death, desperation, East, employment, heart-attack, hustler, life, love, meeting, mother, pool [billiards], stage, suffering, tracking [following], volunteer