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Where Are My Children?

(silent 1916 b 62')

En: 5 Ed: 5

A district attorney prosecutes doctors who promote and perform abortions, but then he learns that his own family has been involved.

District Attorney Richard Walton (Tyrone Power Sr.) believes in eugenics, but his wife is childless. He is happy that his sister (Marjorie Blynn) has a child. Walton is prosecuting Dr. William Homer (C. Norman Hammond) for distributing literature on birth control, and he questions him about the book he wrote. Dr. Homer complains that the law is hindering him when it should be helping him. He says he visits the poor, and he tries to stop a couple from fighting.

Mrs. William Carlo (Marie Walcamp) is expecting a child. She is a friend of Mrs. Walton (Helen Riaume) and attends her party. Mrs. Walton tells Mrs. Carlo how she can avoid motherhood. A jury of men convicts Dr. Homer.

Mrs. Walton takes Mrs. Carlo to see Dr. Herman Malfit (Juan de la Cruz), and an unwanted child returns to heaven. The Waltons' neighbor has three children, and he tells Richard he wants three more.

Mrs. Walton's brother Roger (A. D. Blake) comes for a visit. The housekeeper (Cora Drew) asks if her daughter Lillian (Rena Rogers) may stay with her for a while. Lillian picks flowers and gives one to Roger. The next day he kisses her. An unwanted one is conceived, and in shame she tells him.

Richard Walton kisses his sister goodbye after a visit. Mrs. Walton talks to Roger, and he sends Lillian to Dr. Malfit. However, he bungles her case, and she collapses in the yard. Richard carries her inside and calls a doctor. Lillian tells her mother the truth, and she tells the Waltons. Lillian dies.

Richard Walton prosecutes Dr. Malfit. Mrs. Walton gets a letter from Dr. Malfit telling her to have her husband withdraw from the case or he will expose her. She asks her husband if he is being too hard on Dr. Malfit. The judge sentences Dr. Malfit to fifteen years in prison, and he tells Walton to look to his own house. Walton examines Dr. Malfit's appointment book and finds the names of his wife and her friends.

Richard goes home and finds Mrs. Walton there with several lady friends. He tells them that he knows why they have no children and asks them to leave. He asks his wife, "Where are my children?"

Richard grieves. Mrs. Walton tries to have a child, but now she can't have one. As they grow old, Richard and Mrs. Walton can only imagine having children.

This visionary drama implies that souls come through a heavenly gate and may be born as wanted or unwanted children. If an unwanted child is aborted, the soul simply remains behind the heavenly gate. While men treat this issue in punitive ways, the women seem to be more practical and are the ones who take the risks. This drama reflects the birth control issue that was raised at the time by Margaret Sanger.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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