Broken Ties begins, appropriately enough, in divorce court, where a husband and wife fight over the custody of their son. The judge awards the boy to the father, as was customary in 1909. Yearning for his mother, the child sits disconsolately in his room until the father relents and ships the boy off to his mom. Alas, the mother has no money to support herself and the child (alimony was not a "given" back then), and before long the father returns to rescue the boy from his shabby surroundings. So eloquently does the mother plead for her son's return that the father tears up the divorce decree and invites his spouse back into his home. Broken Ties is so much a product of its period that it defies criticism.
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