Wildness of Youth (1922)

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Filmmaker Ivan Abramson) was known during the silent era for his morality plays; the plot to this one -- made during a time when his career was at a low ebb -- was pretty complicated. The main characters -- the self-willed Jule Grayton (Mary Anderson) and her spoiled sweetheart, Andrew Kane (Joseph Striker) -- don't seem very sympathetic at the start. Kane's father has wasted the family fortune; Jule's dad (Thurston Hall), meanwhile, has founded an institution for homeless children, and he asks its superintendent, Louise Wesley (Virginia Pearson), to help straighten out his daughter. Stock broker James Surbrun (Harry T. Morey) invites the couple to a weekend party at his mansion, and takes the opportunity to steal Jule away from Kane. Then Surbrun makes a vile attempt to get Kane out of the way permanently, but a little boy, Teddy (Bobby Connelly), saves his life. Teddy is blinded, however, and Kane has to come up with the money to pay for an operation. In the midst of all this, Surbrun is killed and Andrew is accused of the crime. But in the end, Teddy's mother -- who happens to be Louise -- comes forth and admits that she murdered Surbrun, who had deserted her many years before. This was Virginia Pearson's first film in three years, and one of Bobby Connelly's last -- the child died not long after he completed his role.