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Bonds of Love (1919)

Bonds of Love (1919) Goldwyn Pictures Corp. Distributor: Goldwyn Distributing Corp. Director: Reginald Barker. Scenario: Louis Sherwin. Camera: Edward Gheller. Cast: Pauline Frederick, Percy Standing, Betty Schade, Leslie Steuart, Charles Clary, Kate Lester, Frankie Lee. 5 reels. This film appears to be LOST

Still photo on the Dr. Macro website

See also a Lantern Slide advertising this film from the collection at the Cleveland Public Library

Review from Variety
Review from Moving Picture World
Review from the New York Times

Review from Variety, November 7, 1919

Una Sayre Pauline Frederick
Daniel Cabot Percy Standing
Harry Beekman Leslie Stewart
Harry Sullivan Charles Clary
Mrs. Cunningham Kate Lester
Jimmy Cabot Frankie Lee

With Pauline Frederick as the chief excitement, Goldwyn has been putting over a series of society pictures that are deserving of special mention, if for no other reason than their realism. The people in them act like civilized human beings. They appeared to know what they are about. They behave as people on Fifth avenue actually behave, and not in the exaggerated and ridiculous manner in which some picture directors seem to think anyone outside or inside the picture business must necessarily act in order to make an impression. Miss Frederick, for one thing, knows a drawing room when she sees one, and doesn't insult everything from the butler to the furniture in order to exhibit her claim to being a lady. Reginald Barker, who directs for her, also knows his business, and putting over "Bonds of Love," Louis Sherwin's first contribution to the screen, he shows it.

This feature is at the Strand this week and proved to be an acceptable and simple narrative of love for a man and a child set in the surroundings of a millionaire. What stories this Sherwin could write if he would, those who remember his clever, often brilliant, contributions to local criticism, can imagine. But let him start slowly. He has devised a story that any first class exhibitor can buy with profit, particularly if he wants high class patronage.

Bereaved of his former wife, Daniel Cabot engages Una Sayre as a governess for his wayward son. The son grows to love her. So does the father, and when his sister-in-law and brother-in-law make things hot for the girl, he marries her. Love letters written by the former wife cause a complication that eventually turns to the new wife's advantage. She shows herself true blue.

Frankie Lee made the youngster lovable, and the acting was not only competent but had also the necessary touch of distinction. Lighting effects, photography and attention to detail were all acceptable.

Review from Moving Picture World

November 15, 1919

"BONDS OF LOVE" (Goldwyn)

Pauline Frederick is presented in a finer role than usual in "Bonds of Love" and makes the most of her dramatic opportunities. Her spirited acting an that of Frankie Lee, who played the crippled boy in "The Miracle Man" hold attention closely in a story which would be tame at the outset but for a stirring motorboat chase in which the little boy is rescued in a daring fashion. As governess to the child of a widower still mourning an idealized first wife it is plain to be seen the star will become the second wife of her employer.

The new wife's position is a trying one, but she asserts herself with dignity and common sense. She is most annoyed by a room in which the first wife's effects are carefully preserved, and she there comes upon a remarkable discovery through a letter secreted in the back of a picture. It reveals that the much idealized first wife was false to her adoring husband. The ex-governess decides to get possession of all letters incriminating the first wife and destroy them for the sake of the little boy. In doing this she seriously compromises herself until the husband discovers that he has not been deceived by the young girl who put his house in order, but by the one he has been idealizing. It is a play for mature persons, especially married woman, and it held close attention at the Strand, where it was presented in good style.

Review from The New York Times, November 3, 1919

"Bonds of Love," by Louis Sherwin, directed by Reginald Barker, brings two competent players to the screen of the Strand this week, Pauline Frederick and little Frankie Lee, whose performance as the cripple boy in The Miracle Man" made him one of the few really noteworthy child actors. In the present part he has many opportunities, and misses none of them. Miss Frederick is invariably equal to any scene she attempts, and in "Bonds of Love" plays with a quiet restraint and simple sincerity that are charming. The others in the cast are all satisfactory. Kate Lester being especially convincing. Mr. Barker has made some excellent scenes and given the photoplay realistic touches. One of his best pictures is a scene in which a little boy runs away in a speed boat and is pursued and rescued by his governess in another.

The story of "Bonds of Love" is that of Pinero's His House in Order," with variations. A man who worships his dead wife engages a governess for his little son. The dead wife's relatives are deliberately unfriendly to the newcomer but cannot prevent her marriage to her employer. They make things unpleasant for her, however, until the fact that the love of the first wife was not for her husband is revealed.

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Last revised, July 12, 2011