The Vicar of Wakefield (1917)

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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

As a novel, Oliver Goldsmith's The Vicar of Wakefield may have been good literature, but books often don't translate well into film. This especially applies to period stories, and this one takes place in the mid-1700s. An old vicar (Frederick Warde, father of the film's director, Ernest C. Warde) undergoes some financial misfortunes and his grown children add to his woes. His son, George (Boyd Marshall) goes to the city to get work, but he winds up running around with a bad crowd. Meanwhile, Olivia, one of the vicar's daughters (Kathryn Adams) marries a squire who has passed himself off as a nobleman (Robert Vaughn). The squire deserts Olivia, who turns up missing. She eventually is found, and Mr. Burchell (Thomas A. Curran), a man of higher rank, comes around and forces the squire to be accountable for his actions. Burchell marries the vicar's other daughter (Gladys Leslie), and the son returns home. As motion picture material, this story was not exactly scintillating.