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sparrowsDuring the era of this silent film, Mary Pickford was the most powerful woman in Hollywood. She was also America’s sweetheart. So this film, produced by her production company, was not without it’s detractors.

Not a pretty film, the subject matter is grim. The setting is a “baby” farm in the edge of an alligator filled swamp. A baby farm was a place where unwed girls/women went to have their babies. Ostensibly they would provide money for the child’s needs. This particular facility was presided over by the Grimes(Gustav von Seyffertitz and Charlotte Mineau), a grim and cruel couple interested only in squeezing as much work out of the children as they can. A garden of vegetables to be sold for profit was their main work. In another instance, Grimes sells one of the children to a hog farmer.

Pickford plays Molly, one of the residents, the oldest, and a mother figure toimages the seven other children and the baby. She’s promised the others that God will rescue them if thet pray hard enough. So far it hasn’t worked. The title comes from a Biblical quote. When asked by one small boy why God hasn’t saved them, Molly responds that Gos is busy attending to sparrows.

It becomes Molly’s job to get them and the baby out of the swamp, past the bubbling mud bogs and alligators. The baby is the child of a rich man, left there by kidnappers until a suitable ransom can be arranged.

An interesting film with the requisite happy ending.

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