AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The End of the Road
Director: Edward H. Griffith (Dir)
Release Date:   16 Feb 1919
Duration (in reels):   6-7
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Cast:   Richard Bennett (The doctor)  
    Claire Adams (Mary Lee)  
    Joyce Fair (Vera Lynch)  
    Raymond McKee    
    Maude Hill    
    Robert Cain    
    Arthur Housman    
    Alice Brady    

Summary: Mary, whose mother has instructed her about love, marriage, and sex, leaves her boyfriend Paul to become a nurse in a New York hospital. Vera, encouraged by her mother to marry a rich man, takes an apartment from a young millionaire who promises marriage but only gives her syphilis. Mary and her doctor treat Vera and show her examples of the ravages of the disease. Mary meets other suffering women: an Irish servant girl betrayed by a chauffeur who dies after her baby is born; a garment worker who contracted syphilis from a soldier's forced kiss; the invalid wife of a wealthy man whose philandering caused her condition, the blindness of their child, and the suicide of one of his conquests. Paul, about to enlist, suggests that he and Mary have sex before he goes. Disappointed in him, Mary also rejects the proposal of her doctor, but later in Europe after seeing the kind of man he is, accepts him. 

Production Company: Authorized by the U S. Public Health Services; Produced for the War Department Commission on Training Camp Activities  
Director: Edward H. Griffith (Dir)
Writer: Katharine Bement Davis (Scen)
  Edward H. Griffith (Scen)
  Katharine Bement Davis (Story)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
American Social Hygiene Assn. 30/1/1919 dd/mm/yyyy LU13332
American Social Hygiene Association, Inc. 1/3/1919 dd/mm/yyyy LP14184

Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Educational/cultural
Subjects (Major): Hospitals
  Mothers and daughters
  Sex education
  Venereal disease
Subjects (Minor): Blindness
  Clothing industry
  Gold diggers
  Irish Americans
  New York City
  Proposals (Marital)

Note: The film opened in Syracuse, NY. It was released under the authority of Surgeon General William Crawford Gorgas. It was shown as part of the national campaign of the Social Hygiene Division of the War Department Commission on Training Camp Activities. Publicity claims that the incidents in the film were taken from real life cases that came under the observation of Katharine Bement Davis while she was commissioner of correction in New York. At the time of the film's production, Davis was Director of the Section on Women's Work of the Social Hygiene Divison of the War Department Commission on Training Camp Activities. The film was produced under the supervision of the Surgeon General of the Army. The film was made possible by the cooperation of a number of agencies, including the National War Work Council, Y.W.C.A., The Famous-Players Lasky Corp., the American Social Hygiene Association, and the National League for Women's Service Motor Corps. Some scenes showing clinical cases of venereal infection were shot in the women's wards of Blackwell's Island, New York City. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Variety   21 Feb 19   p. 71.
Wid's   12 Oct 19   p. 16.
  9 Feb 1919.   

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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