Mother and Son

A woman who spent her life behind bars must save her son from the same fate in this lost pre-Code classic.
Mother and Son
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 7868D
Brand New

DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 7 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: November 29, 2016
  • Originally Released: 1931
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Performer: , , , &
Directed by

Description by

Lil Payton runs "Helldorado", a booming gambling house in the Nevada desert. When her son Jeff is born, she invests her money in the stock market and retires. But the Great Crash of '29 wipes out her savings, and Lil is forced to return to her prior trade. Jeff, now grown to adulthood and ignorant of what his mother does for a living, is dating Maureen Winfield, the prim and proper daughter of a Wall Street banker. Mr. Winfield, fearing his child will marry the son of a common criminal, exposes the details of Lil's sordid life to Jeff. Fate can be cruel, however, and shortly afterwards Winfield is wiped out by the stock market crash himself. The desperate banker arrives at Helldorado, looking for Lil's help in rebuilding his fortune. But Lil has no sympathy for the man who destroyed her relationship with her son. She challenges him to a high-stakes game of cards that only one of them will walk away from...

Clara Kimball Young (1890-1960) was a stage actress in her early twenties when she sent a headshot to Vitagraph Studios. The execs were immediately besotted, and Clara and her husband James were soon on their way to Hollywood. A series of pictures starring the woman the fan magazines called "The Orchid of the Screen" followed, the most successful being My Official Wife (1914), which James Young directed. At her height, Clara's popularity rivaled that of Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Pearl White, and Mabel Normand. Her fortunes started to turn downhill when she began a widely publicized affair with Lewis J. Selznick, leading to a divorce from James (who, to this point, had directed her best features) and the end of her contract with Vitagraph. Without missing a beat, the infatuated Selznick formed the Clara Kimball Young Film Corporation to distribute his paramour's pictures. But even this went afoul when the actress discovered Selznick was withholding funds from her. After an unsuccessful attempt to sue the studio mogul, Clara's career in Hollywood was ruined. She spent the 1920s in vaudeville, only attempting a comeback when sound was introduced. Despite giving a bravura performance, Mother and Son would be her only starring role during this period. After a few more supporting parts (including a stint with the Three Stooges) Clara quietly retired from acting in 1941. Two decades later, her time as an ingenue long behind her, she passed away at the Motion Picture Home in Hollywood at the age of 70.


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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 29,579
  • UPC: 089218786890
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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