The Eternal Mother (1917 film)

Last updated
The Eternal Mother
The Eternal Mother 1919 newspaperad.jpg
Newspaper advertisement
Directed by Frank Reicher
Written by Mary Murillo (scenario)
Based onRed Horse Hill
by Sidney McCall
Produced by Metro Pictures
Starring Ethel Barrymore
Cinematography George Webber
Distributed by Metro Pictures
Release date
  • November 26, 1917 (1917-11-26)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The Eternal Mother is a surviving 1917 American silent drama film directed by Frank Reicher and stars Ethel Barrymore. The picture is taken from a novel, Red Horse Hill, by Sidney McCall, an alias for Mary McNeill Fenollosa. [1]



As described in a film magazine, [2] Maris (Barrymore) endeavors to persuade her husband Dwight Alden (Mills) to replace the children working in his mills with man and women, but Alden does not listen to his wife's pleas. One night a little girl is injured and Maris, calling on her, discovers that she is her own daughter from a previous marriage who she thought was dead. She finds that her former husband, whom she also believed to be dead, is still living. Maris returns to her home, unable to forget her little girl. When the girl runs away from her father and comes to Maris, Maris leaves Alden, explaining her reasons in a letter. Alden learns that Maris' former husband secured a divorce so that he might marry another woman. With this evidence, and after clearing his factories of child workers, Alden goes to Maris and begs her and her child to return home with him.

Preservation status


See also

Related Research Articles

Ethel Barrymore American actress (1879–1959)

Ethel Barrymore was an American actress and a member of the Barrymore family of actors. Barrymore was a stage, screen and radio actress whose career spanned six decades, and was regarded as "The First Lady of the American Theatre". She received four nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, winning for None but the Lonely Heart (1944).

Louis Wolheim American character actor

Louis Robert Wolheim was an American actor, of both stage and screen, whose rough physical appearance relegated him to roles mostly of thugs or villains in the movies, but whose talent allowed him to flourish on stage. His career was mostly contained during the silent era of the film industry, due to his untimely death at the age of 50 in 1931.

Doris Rankin American actress (1888–1946)

Doris Marie Rankin was an American stage and film actress.

<i>The Secret Man</i> 1917 film

The Secret Man is a 1917 American silent Western film, directed by John Ford and featuring Harry Carey. Two of the five reels of the film survive at the Library of Congress film archive.

<i>The Eyes of Mystery</i> 1918 film by Tod Browning

The Eyes of Mystery is a lost 1918 American silent mystery film directed by Tod Browning starring Edith Storey.

<i>The Deciding Kiss</i> 1918 film

The Deciding Kiss is a 1918 American comedy film directed by Tod Browning. The film was considered a lost film for decades. A print was discovered at the French archive Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée in Fort de Bois-d'Arcy.

<i>The Test of Honor</i> 1919 film by John S. Robertson

The Test of Honor (1919) is an American silent film drama produced by Famous Players-Lasky, released by Paramount, directed by John S. Robertson, and starring John Barrymore. Considered the actor's first drama movie role after years of doing film comedies and farces. It is based on author E. Phillips Oppenheim 1906 novel The Malefactor.

Maxine Elliott Hicks was an American actress.

<i>Lifes Whirlpool</i> 1917 film by Lionel Barrymore

Life's Whirlpool is a 1917 American silent drama film written and directed by Lionel Barrymore with his sister Ethel Barrymore as the star. This is the brother and sister's only collaboration on a silent film as director and star.

<i>On the Quiet</i> 1918 American film

On the Quiet is a lost 1918 American silent comedy film produced by Famous Players-Lasky and released by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Chester Withey and starred John Barrymore. The film, based on an original 1901 play, was written by Augustus Thomas and served as a popular hit for William Collier, Sr.

<i>The Breath of the Gods</i> 1920 film by Rollin S. Sturgeon

The Breath of the Gods is a 1920 American silent drama film directed by Rollin S. Sturgeon and starring Tsuru Aoki. Set during the Russo-Japanese War, the film is based on the 1905 novel of the same name by Sidney McCall.

<i>Unseeing Eyes</i> 1923 film by Edward H. Griffith

Unseeing Eyes is a lost 1923 American silent north country drama film produced by William Randolph Hearst and distributed by Goldwyn Pictures. Edward H. Griffith directed Lionel Barrymore, Seena Owen, Louis Wolheim, and Gustav von Seyffertitz in the action packed drama. The movie was filmed in part at the Gray Rocks Resort in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, Canada.

<i>The Lifted Veil</i> (film) 1917 American film

The Lifted Veil is a 1917 American silent drama film produced by B. A. Rolfe and distributed by Metro Pictures. It is based on a 1917 novel The Lifted Veil by Basil King, an author popular with women readers. Stage star Ethel Barrymore, under contract to Metro, appears in her eighth silent feature film, which is now lost.

<i>Our Mrs. McChesney</i> 1918 American film

Our Mrs. McChesney is a lost 1918 American silent comedy-drama film produced and distributed by Metro Pictures, directed by Ralph Ince, and based on the 1915 play by Edna Ferber and George V. Hobart which starred Ethel Barrymore.

<i>The Divorcee</i> (1919 film) 1919 film by Herbert Blaché

The Divorcee is a 1919 American society drama starring Ethel Barrymore in her last silent film. The film is based on a 1907 play, Lady Frederick by young Somerset Maugham, which had starred Barrymore on Broadway. The play was already quite dated when this film was made, but the actress was always comfortable with this kind of soap-operish melodramatic material. Herbert Blaché directed, and June Mathis wrote the scenario based on Maugham's play. The film was produced and distributed by the Metro Pictures company.

<i>Silk Husbands and Calico Wives</i> 1920 film by Alfred E. Green

Silk Husbands and Calico Wives is a 1920 American silent drama film directed by Alfred E. Green and starring House Peters. The film was produced by Harry Garson and based on an original by Monte Katterjohn.

<i>The Woman in Room 13</i> 1920 film by Frank Lloyd

The Woman in Room 13 is a lost 1920 American silent mystery drama film directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Pauline Frederick. It was produced and distributed by Goldwyn Pictures and is based on a Broadway play of the same name, The Woman in Room 13. The film was remade at Fox in 1932 as a talkie.

<i>Wealth</i> (film) 1921 film

Wealth is a 1921 American silent drama film directed by William Desmond Taylor, written by Cosmo Hamilton and Julia Crawford Ivers, and starring Ethel Clayton, Herbert Rawlinson, J.M. Dumont, Larry Steers, George Periolat, and Claire McDowell. It was released on August 21, 1921, by Paramount Pictures. It is not known whether the film currently survives, and it may be a lost film.

Ethel Barrymore on stage, screen and radio

Ethel Barrymore was an American actress of stage, screen and radio. She came from a family of actors; she was the middle child of Maurice Barrymore and Georgie Drew Barrymore, and had two brothers, Lionel and John. Reluctant to pursue her parents' career, the loss of financial support following the death of Louisa Lane Drew, caused Barrymore to give up her dream of becoming a concert pianist and instead earn a living on the stage. Barrymore's first Broadway role, alongside her uncle John Drew, Jr., was in The Imprudent Young Couple (1895). She soon found success, particularly after an invitation from William Gillette to appear on stage in his 1897 London production of Secret Service. Barrymore was soon popular with English society, and she had a number of romantic suitors, including Laurence Irving, the dramatist. His father, Henry Irving, cast her in The Bells (1897) and Peter the Great (1898).

<i>Faint Perfume</i> 1925 film

Faint Perfume is a 1925 American silent drama film directed by Louis J. Gasnier and starring Seena Owen, William Powell, and Mary Alden.


  1. The Eternal Mother at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. "Reviews: The Eternal Mother". Exhibitors Herald. New York: Exhibitors Herald Company. 5 (24): 26. December 8, 1917.
  3. The Library of Congress/FIAF American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:The Eternal Mother