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Her Defiance (1916) is a short film (two reels, so approximately 22 minutes) directed by Cleo Madison and Joe King.

Adeline (Cleo Madison) is a young woman who lives on a farm. Her brother Theron promises her in marriage to their crusty old neighbor, Scapin. However, Adeline has fallen in love with Frank Warren, a rich city boy who meets Adeline when he comes to the countryside on business. Her brother distrusts the city slicker but Adeline insists that Frank loves her.

Frank does love her, but he is called away on no notice by his father, who needs him for an urgent business deal. Frank leaves a note for Adeline explaining what happened but it never gets delivered. Meanwhile, Adeline has just figured out she's pregnant. Unwed, baby on the way, and living in the country, she elects to marry gross old Scapin after all.

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Tropes:

  • Altar the Speed: Frank's disappearance right around the time Adeline finds out she's pregnant causes her to cave and marry Scapin—at least until she becomes a Runaway Bride.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Adeline, a single mother with a baby in the city, gets a job as a cleaning lady. Where does she get her job? Frank's office building.
  • Down on the Farm: Adeline and Theron live in farm country, and Theron distrusts Adeline's suitor from the city.
  • Flashback: With what was then an innovative matte effect. When Adeline and Frank are confronting each other at the end, her memory plays out as a flashback clip in the upper left corner of the screen. When he explains about the letter he left, his memory plays out as well.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Not even mentioned as a possibility. Abortion was the topic of another film from 1916, Where Are My Children?.
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  • Meet Cute: Frank is standing outside the general store when Adeline's grocery basket spills open and everything falls out. He helps her pick her stuff up.
  • The Plot Reaper: Scapin is killed when he and Theron flip their carriage while chasing Adeline. This gets that marriage business out of the way so Frank and Adeline can get paired up at the end.
  • Runaway Bride: The sight of Scapin the white-haired hillbilly trying to kiss her at the conclusion of the ceremony causes Adeline to make a break for it. She runs out the door, steals one of the carriages outside, and flees. Theron and Scapin pursue but when they wreck their carriage Adeline escapes.
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