Feature Drama | 1900 | Silent | B/W
Melodrama of a Boer War hero and his sorry demise.
Mother and two young children. Young boy looks out of window and waves. Mother sits at dinner table with other child in high chair. Father comes home and hands young boy work bag. Husband kisses wife while she pours cup of tea. He sits at table while small dog plays underneath with bag. Father gives cup and saucer to wife for tea and lifts young boy back into seat. Takes cup of tea and offers both children cake from plate. Mother butters bread. They all turn towards the door as if someone has knocked. Young boy answers door and brings envelope to father who opens it. Upon reading it he rises from his chair with some consternation. His wife rises in concern and takes the letter from his hand, while he puts his arm around her. She reads the letter as her husband shepherds her backwards towards and into her seat. She then begins to cry and wipes her eyes with a handkerchief. While she sobs, her husband and young son try to comfort her. As her husband moves back towards his seat the mother cuddles and kisses the young boy.
The Departure: Both parents pack kitbag while the two children play with a wooden sword. The mother helps her husband on with his overcoat. He puts a pith-style helmet on his head and passionately kisses his wife. The overcoat is seen to be a military one with shiny buttons. The father lifts one of his sons up into his arms and kisses him on the lips. He then repeats the action with the other son. A further kiss for his wife who gives him something from the mantelpiece. Yet another kiss and the father leaves his wife as one of his sons watches from the window. The mother then gathers her other son up in her arms and all three watch out of the window. The mother then slumps back into her husband’s chair while the two boys continue to wave at the window.
After the War: The husband returns to the room which is bereft of nearly all furnishings. The mother cradles one of the boys in a shawl on her lap, with the other at her feet. Her husband puts his work bag on the floor and sits dejectedly on a sack, putting his hand to his head. He rises and pats the standing boy on the head. Gesturing to his wife, he looks in the shawl at the other child with concern. Throwing out both hands he gestures towards his wife and exits. A hand-pushed baker’s handcart is being unloaded into a basket by the young roundsman. As he leaves the handcart to deliver, the husband approaches. While the roundsman is out of sight, the husband steals a loaf of bread and runs off back up the street. The roundsman returns to his handcart and upon seeing the husband running, checks inside. Immediately noticing the loss, he summons someone and they head off in the husband’s direction. The husband returns to the room and gives bread to his wife and older son. As they begin to eat it, a policeman enters the room. Motioning towards the stolen bread, he collars the husband and moves towards the door. The wife rises with the other child and both she and her husband gesture towards both children. As the police sergeant sees the older boy eating the bread he picks him up and sits upon the sack with the boy on his knee. He sees the war hero's poverty and pities him. Putting his hand to his pocket, he gives the husband some money. The husband shakes his hand and leaves the room.
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