The Deciding Kiss (1918)

Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Countries - USA  |  
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In a odd bit of casting, the strong-willed, 20-year-old Edith Roberts starts out as a meek, 12-year-old ragamuffin in this drama. Orphan Eleanor Hamlin (Roberts) is living with her grandparents in a Cape Cod village, but they hand her over to wealthy Beulah Page (Winifred Greenwood), who offers to adopt her. Unfortunately, Beulah, a single woman, knows next to nothing about children and has no maternal instincts whatsoever. Her friends, however, are taken with Eleanor, especially Beulah's lover, Peter Bolling (Thornton Church). Because the girl is stealing her thunder, Beulah selfishly ships her off to boarding school. But when Eleanor returns a polished and pretty young woman, Beulah's life takes a turn for the worse because Peter falls in love with her. Upset that she has come between the couple, Eleanor runs back to her grandparents. Peter follows, but she hides from him. Christmas comes and Beulah misses Eleanor after all. The girl returns and offers to simply be her child, not her rival for Peter, and she is welcomed back to the fold -- an unsatisfying end to an unrealistic picture.