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The Hungry Heart

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The Hungry Heart
Directed byRobert G. Vignola
Screenplay byCharles Maigne
Based onThe Hungry Heart
by David Graham Phillips
StarringPauline Frederick
Howard Hall
Robert Cain
Helen Lindroth
Eldean Steuart
CinematographyNed Van Buren
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 5, 1917 (1917-11-05)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
A contemporary newspaper publicity photograph.
A contemporary newspaper publicity photograph.

The Hungry Heart is a 1917 American silent drama film directed by Robert G. Vignola and written by Charles Maigne based upon the novel of the same name by David Graham Phillips. The film stars Pauline Frederick, Howard Hall, Robert Cain, Helen Lindroth, and Eldean Steuart.[1][2] The film was released on November 5, 1917, by Paramount Pictures. It is not known whether the film currently survives,[3] and it may be a lost film.


As described in a film magazine,[4] Courtney Vaughan (Frederick) is very much in love with her husband Richard (Hall). However, when he neglects her for his chemistry work, she turns to Basil Gallatin (Cain), her husband's partner and a homewrecker. When Richard learns that Courtney desires her freedom he divorces her, giving her custody of their little son. After a separation of some time, Richard returns to the home and asks permission to use the laboratory. He asks Courtney to assist him, which she does. Basil, learning that Courtney is free, returns to her only to be turned away. He then goes to Richard and demands Courtney, but Courtney tells Richard to kill both her and Basil. Basil, frightened, runs away, and Courtney and Richard make arrangements to start life anew.



Like many American films of the time, The Hungry Heart was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. The Chicago Board of Censors required cuts in reel 2 of the intertitle "My love, my love, I might have killed you", the woman embracing man on balcony and entire scene of man in woman's bedroom, in reel 4 the intertitles "Old Nanny's paralyzed. I found her yesterday morning in the hallway" and "You need not fear to confess that he took advantage of a weak moment", and in reel 5 the intertitles "I have no desire to punish, but Winchie and the world must never know", "If he finds us, he will kill us both", and "He has held me in his arms". After reinspection, the Chicago board required additional changes, after the closeup of Courtney on stairway and her husband has gone into Nanny's room, insert the intertitle "Convinced that the meddlesome Nanny has misunderstood their affection, Courtney thinks only of the safety of Gallatin" and eliminate the intertitles "It is true", "Where is he", and "There are times when a man must ignore or kill".[5]


  1. ^ "The Hungry Heart (1917) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  2. ^ "The Hungry Heart". AFI. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  3. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: The Hungry Heart at
  4. ^ "Reviews: The Hungry Heart". Exhibitors Herald. New York: Exhibitors Herald Company. 5 (21): 25. November 17, 1917.
  5. ^ "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. New York: Exhibitors Herald Company. 5 (22): 33. 24 November 1917.
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The Hungry Heart
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