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The Adopted Son (1917 film)

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The Adopted Son
The Adopted Son 1917 newspaper.jpg
Newspaper advertisement
Directed byCharles Brabin
Written byAlbert Shelby Le Vino
Based onthe short story "The Adopted Son"
by Max Brand
Produced byMaxwell Karger
StarringFrancis X. Bushman
Beverly Bayne
Leslie Stowe
CinematographyR. J. Bergquist
Release date
  • October 29, 1917 (1917-10-29) (US)[1]
Running time
6 reels
CountryUnited States

The Adopted Son is a 1917 American silent drama film directed by Charles Brabin and starring Francis X. Bushman, Beverly Bayne, and Leslie Stowe. It was released on October 29, 1917.


Francis Bushman
Francis Bushman

In the hills of Tennessee, a feud has existed for many years between the Conover's and the McLane's. Once a year, during the annual county fair, there is a truce between the families. As the truce ends, George Conover is ambushed by Henry McLane and killed. "Two Gun" Carter, who has just arrived in the area from Texas, witnesses the murder and carries the dead McLane back to his family. The entire clan is overcome by grief for the death of their kinsman, and the dead man's sister, Marian Conover, pleads with Carter to be adopted into their clan.

Marian and Carter fall in love with one another, and eventually Carter proposes that he and Henry McLane fight a duel in order to end the feud. When Henry refuses to fight Carter, the leader of the McLane clan, Tom, agrees to take Henry's place. As the contest is being set up, Carter learns that he is actually a member of the McLane clan. He and Marian also make plans to marry. The day of the contest, Carter explains to Tom his heritage, but as they are talking, word comes to them that Henry has abducted Marian. The duel forgotten, Carter charges off to rescue Marian. During the course of the rescue, Henry falls off a cliff. Marian and Carter announce their plans to marry, and Tom let's everyone know that Carter is a McLane, thus ending the feud.

Cast list


In August 1917 it was announced that Metro had obtained the rights to an unpublished, untitled story by Max Brand.[2] This was one of several films which paired Bushman with Bayne,[3] and was produced in Ithaca, New York.[4] In September 1917 it was announced that Bushman and Bayne had gone on location to film sequences for the picture, which was at that time still untitled.[5] The original working title for the film was God's Outlaw.[6] By mid-October the film's titled had been changed to The Adopted Son.[7] The story, by Max Brand, was scheduled to be published simultaneously in All-Story Weekly with the picture's release. The magazine's cover art featured Bushman and Bayne.[4] The film was released on October 29, 1917.[8]


While not complimentary of Bushman's performance, Photoplay felt that this film was " of the best feud stories the screen has recorded." They felt the exterior shots were magnificent, and found the performances of the supporting cast, particularly that of J. W. Johnston, were exemplary.[9]


  1. ^ "The Adopted Son". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  2. ^ "Max Brand Story and New Metro Play for Joint Release". Motion Picture News. August 25, 1917. p. 1284. Retrieved November 30, access
  3. ^ "Double Star System is a Success in Motion Pictures". Motion Picture News. October 6, 1917. p. 2353. Retrieved November 30, access
  4. ^ a b ""God's Outlaw" Is New Bushman Play, Location Ithaca". Motion Picture News. September 22, 1917. p. 1996. Retrieved November 30, access
  5. ^ "Entire List of Metro Stars Work on Fall Productions". Motion Picture News. September 8, 1917. p. 1628. Retrieved November 30, access
  6. ^ "Metro Plan Is Two Directors for One Star". Motion Picture News. September 29, 1917. p. 2175. Retrieved November 30, access
  7. ^ "Features-Current and Coming". Motion Picture News. October 13, 1917. p. 2591. Retrieved November 30, access
  8. ^ "Calendar of Program Publications". Exhibitors Herald. December 29, 1917. p. 41. Retrieved November 30, access
  9. ^ "The Shadow Stage: The Adopted Son". Photoplay. December 1917. p. 124. Retrieved November 30, access
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The Adopted Son (1917 film)
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