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Way Back Home

(1931 b 82')

En: 4 Ed: 5

This quaint story of country folks dealing with an adopted son and an illegitimate young man is based on the radio character Seth Parker.

An income tax agent becomes so confused by the property dealings of Seth Parker (Phillips Lord), he leaves in exasperation. Woblin Duffy tells Seth that Rufus Turner wants to get money from Seth, who has raised his son Robbie for ten years. Duffy won't let his daughter Lucy (Bette Davis) go to a dance with his farm laborer David Clark (Frank Albertson), because David's mother Rose was never married. Duffy fires David. Rose sent David to agriculture college, but David has no money to farm their land. Lizzie (Mrs. Phillips Lord) is hoping to find a husband, but she doesn't have much luck. Robbie (Frankie Darro) cries when he learns that Seth is not his real father, though Seth loves him. At a barn dance Lucy meets David; Duffy comes looking for her, but Seth drops him down a pig shoot. In the moonlight David kisses Lucy. The next day her father threatens her if she sees David again, but she is taken in by the Parkers. Rufus (Stanley Fields) calls on Seth and admits that the example of Seth's character is better for Robbie than his own. Seth won't give up the child, because Robbie's ma gave him to them. Robbie gets a shotgun, and Rufus leaves.

Neighbors gather and sing at the Parkers. Seth reads the newspaper aloud. As they sing, Rose listens from outside. Lucy and David prepare to run away, and Seth gives them money so that they can marry. As the people are leaving, Rufus kidnaps Robbie. Seth chases after them, catches up, and fights with Rufus, finally hitting him with the Bible. A newspaper reports that a judge has placed Robbie with the Juvenile Protection Society temporarily. Friends gather and report that Duffy is trying to run Rose out of town; but Seth speaks for her. They sing and welcome Rose, Lizzie inviting her to a party. Lucy and David return married, and finally Robbie comes home. They all happily sing together.

This story shows that loving character can overcome the prejudices regarding illegitimacy and genetic parentage. The kindness of the Parkers and their simple ways help to bring their community together so that everyone can have a fair chance in life.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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