Released on a split reel with Lubin's The Tattooed Arm, On the Bank of the River preaches a highly questionable "moral lesson." The film focuses on two sisters, one virtuous and industrious, the other devil-may-care and lazy. The latter girl falls in love with a starving artist, a romance that has disastrous results. Sadder but wiser, the wayward girl returns home, only to be cast out into the cold by her hardworking sister. Sullenly sitting by a riverbank, the "fallen" heroine is semi-adopted by a wealthy couple, who provide her with a musical education. By film's end, the girl has become a popular stage star, whereupon she returns home again, this time to save her sister from being evicted from her house. As noted by Variety, the moral of the film seems to be "Avoid hard work, and you'll get ahead."
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