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Her Secret (1917)

Her Secret (1917) Vitagraph Co. of America. Distributor: Greater Vitagraph (V.L.S.E., Inc) Director: Perry N. Vekroff. Scenario: Perry N. Vekroff. Camera: Arthur T. Quinn. Cast: Alice Joyce, Harry T. Morey, Robert Kelley, Mary Maurice, George Cooper, Patsey De Forest, Kittens Reichert, Nellie Anderson. 5 reels. This film appears to be LOST

Review from the New York Dramatic Mirror
Review from Moving Picture World

Review from the New York Dramatic Mirror, May 5, 1917


Five-Part Drama by Perry N. Vekroff, Who Also Directed It. Featuring Harry Morey and Alice Joyce. Produced by Vitagraph fro Release by V.L.S.E. April 30.

Clara Weston Alice Joyce
Rex Fenton Harry Morey
Dr. Howard Robert Kelley
Mrs. Marvin Mary Maurice
Charley George Cooper
Dazy Patsy DeForrest
Alice Kittens Reichert

A powerful and well-drawn domestic drama, with a particularly well-constructed scenario, is "Her Secret." The incident upon which the play is built is, however, rather strong meat rather bluntly told. Were it handled with less skill and were the actors any less talented it would perhaps offend. As it is, while scarcely a picture for the young, it is one which sophisticated playgoers may witness with enjoyment. The suspense is capitally sustained; the ending is satisfactory, and throughout it abounds in dramatic situations and teems with action.

Alice Joyce and Harry Morey enact the leading roles with their usual artistry, while Robert Kelly, Kittens Reichert and others give fine support.

The story opens in the West, where a young girl starts for the East to accept a position. Delayed on the road, she puts up at a frontier "hotel" and dance hall. During the night, while a fight is in progress in the saloon, she is attacked by a drunken surveyor, who enters her room under the belief that it is the apartment of a dance-hall girl with whom he has formerly made a clandestine rendezvous.

She goes to the city and later becomes a mother. By a stretch of coincidence she becomes secretary to the same man but does not know him. They are married, and, despite the advice of her doctor, the girl does not tell him. Later he adopts his own child unknowingly. A letter afterward discloses the girl's early misfortune and he renounces her. Then, when a scar on his wrist, inflicted by the girl when she was attacked by him, betrays that he is the guilty man, he asks for forgiveness. At first she is revolted, but finally the child is the cause of their reunion.


Reviews from Moving Picture World, February 17, 1917

Perry N. Vekroff Writes and Produces Strong Five-Feel Vitagraph Blue Ribbon Feature--Alice Joyce and Harry Morey Featured.
Reviewed by Ben H. Grimm.

Rich in dramatic strength and a fine example of continuity of thought and development is "Her Secret." a five-reel Vitagraph Blue Ribbon Feature released April 30. Perry N. Vekroff, the author and producer of the piece, has given us a plot in which the suspense-tension is wound tight at the opening scene and is not let down one degree until the final fade-out. The picture is excellent entertainment, but it is not one that will be either readily understood or appreciated by other than mature minds. The entire plot revolves around an incident in which a girl is robbed of her honor by a drunken civil engineer, who mistakes her for the queen of a Western dance hall. Mr. Vekroff, however, has handled this situation with such a finesse and with such directorial skill that it cannot offend even the super-sensitive; and so strong and so interesting is the story growing out of the incident that one soon forgets and forgives its manner of beginning.

In the screening of his story Mr. Vekroff has been distinctly aided by the capable work of Alice Joyce and Harry Morey, the featured players, who are supported by a cast that includes Robert Kelley, Mary Maurice, George Cooper, Patsy DeForrest and Kittens Reichert.

The story is out of the usual run. It tells of a girl who, leaving a Western town for a secretarial position in the East, stops at a rough hotel. It is here that the civil engineer mistakes her room for that of the dancer. Arrived in the East, the girl is taken in hand by a friendly doctor. A child is born and the girl later secures a position as secretary to a prominent business man. They fall in love and marry. She does not tell him "her secret." It comes about that her child is brought into the home. The husband discovers the fact that his wife is the child's mother and accuses the doctor. The doctor tells him the wife's story, and it develops that the man is the civil engineer of the Western hotel incident.

Production details throughout are in harmony with the grade of entertainment. [Omitted, one photo.]

HER SECRET (Five Parts--April 30.)--The cast: Clara Weston (Alice Joyce); Rex Fenton (Harry Morey); Dr. Howard (Richard Kelley); Mrs. Marvin (Mary Maurice); Charley (George Cooper); Dazy (Patsy DeForrest); Alice (Kittens Reichert); Directed by Perry N. Vekroff.

Clara Weston is a country school teacher and daughter of a minister. She receives a call to New York to become secretary to the manager of a philanthropic society. She takes the stage coach to the railroad town, but misses the overland train and is compelled to remain over night at the only hotel. A party of Eastern civil engineers come in from an extended stay in the mountains--dusty, unkempt bearded young fellows--who plunge into the diversions of the hotel's dance hall. Rex Fenton of the party pays attentions to Dazy, a dancer. However, when it is late, to get rid of him, she gives him a number at random as that of her room. Befuddled with drink, Fenton afterward looks for the dancer, and as the story works out Clara Weston becomes an accidental victim of circumstances. Next morning she a goes on her way with a broken heart, while Fenton awakes in his room with only a dim idea of what occurred the night before.

After several months at her position in the East, Clara Weston is compelled to resign and retire to a remote country town, where her secret is protected by Dr. Howard, who sympathizes with her misfortune. A year after she has been East, Dr. Howard secures for her a position with a business man as stenographer, leaving her child behind in a nurse's care.

After a time her employer falls in love with her, unaware that she has a child. Her love for him makes her too timid, and she accepts him without revealing her past. Separation from her little one makes Clara melancholy. Dr. Howard, whose advice that she be perfectly frank with her husband has been neglected, sees a chance to improve her spirits by inducing the husband to adopt this child, and happiness reigns.

Several years pass before the husband discovers correspondence from Dr. Howard that discloses Clara's motherhood. Leaping at the idea that Dr. Howard is the man to blame, the husband has a violent scene with him, but the doctor relates the circumstances under which the girl was wronged. The husband, who is none other than Fenton, realizes that he is the father of her child. He now begs forgiveness of the disaster he brought upon her, and the story ends in her complete vindication and final peace of mind.

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Last revised August 26, 2005