Orson Welles wasn't the first one to bring The Magnificent Ambersons to the screen. Vitagraph produced Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel during the silent era and slapped on the very 1920s title Pampered Youth. The Ambersons are the wealthiest family of a small Midwestern town. Isabel (Alice Calhoun), the daughter of Major Amberson (Emmett King), loves Eugene Morgan (Allan Forrest), but he disgraces himself in a drunken spree and leaves town. So Isabel marries Wilbur Minfer (Wallace McDonald), even though she doesn't really love him. She lavishes all her affection on her son, George (Ben Alexander), who, as a result, grows up into a spoiled young man (Cullen Landis). George's careless extravagance uses up the Amberson fortune. After Minfer dies, Morgan, now a successful automobile manufacturer, returns and takes up with Isabel once again. George resents the relationship and believes that Morgan is beneath him, even though he loves his daughter, Lucy (Charlotte Merriam). When Major Amberson dies, George is forced to go to work, and he learns to respect his fellow man. Morgan, meanwhile, saves Isabel when her home catches fire, thus cementing their romance.
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