Synopsis by Janiss Garza
During the silent era, morality and social values were far more stringent than they are now -- if an unmarried couple was caught having a sexual relationship they were expected to marry; if they didn't it was especially ruinous for the girl, whose reputation was destroyed. Gossip and ostracism generally followed. In this British-made production based on the play Hindle Wakes, the girl decides not to get married, and this was considered so controversial that exhibitors were urged to ban children from the film's showings. Christopher Hawthorne (Edward O'Neill) and Nathaniel Jeffcote (Norman McKinnel) have been friends since they worked the looms together; now Jeffcote is the head of the mill and Hawthorne is his foreman. Hawthorne's daughter, Fanny (Colette O'Neil), also works at the mills, and when a local holiday, Hindle Wakes, comes around, she and her friend Mary Hollins (Dolly Tree) plan to meet Jeffcote's son, Alan (Hayford Hobbs), and his pal, George Ramsbottom (Frank Dane), at Blackpool. Fanny finds the resort dull and decides to spend the night with Alan elsewhere. She asks Mary to cover for her, but Mary drowns in a boating accident and Fanny's escapade is discovered -- but not her male companion. As a favor to his friend, Jeffcote swears to rout out the guilty party. Even when he discovers it is his own son, he insists that Alan do right by Fanny, even though he is supposed to wed Beatrice Farrar, a girl of his own station (Margaret Bannerman). It is Fanny, however, who refuses -- although Alan was a fun one-night stand, she has no desire to ruin her life and his. Everyone is shocked at her attitude, although Beatrice is happy to wed Alan. Fanny's fate is left up in the air.