Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Paul Armstrong's venerable stage melodrama The Escape was first brought to the screen by D.W. Griffith in 1914. In true "blood will tell" fashion, the unfortunate children of a criminal family are doomed to live outside the law themselves. Petty crook Jim Joyce (Fred A. Turner) is the father of three: Mae (Blanche Sweet), Jenny (Mae Marsh), and Larry (Robert Harron). While Mae falls in love with a handsome and upright medical intern named Von Elden (Owen Moore), Jenny enters into a less-savory relationship with gangster Bull McGee (Donald Crisp). Meanwhile, brother Larry, seething with resentment over his father's brutality, skulks around like an accident waiting to happen. Things come to a dramatic head when Bull McGee, in a drunken delirium, sells Jenny into white slavery and crushes his own baby to death. Bull inevitably meets his comeuppance at the hands of Larry, while Mae and Von Elden are able to escape all the sordidness and enjoy a wholly unexpected happy ending. The Escape was remade as a "prohibition" drama in 1928.
against-all-odds, eugenics, infanticide, poverty, prostitute/prostitution, terminal-illness